United Front Transportation Services: Linked in their faith, businesswomen unify community

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

LAPLACE — True to its name, United Front Transportation Services brings the community together by extending a helping hand to those in need and highlighting what St. John the Baptist Parish has to offer.

School drop-off and pick-up, group excursions to local attractions and transportation to doctor’s appointments are among the many services offered by co-owners Dayna Mason James, Shaun Adams and Yolanda Fleming Williams.

The three owners and their families take heart and patience with them with each trip they make, and reservations are only a phone call away.

A grand opening event is planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Clay’s Café, located at 975 Cambridge Drive in LaPlace.

With the purchase of a $35 ticket, available in advance or at the door, guests may choose to travel to one of four historic plantations and enjoy a meal courtesy of Clay’s Café.

United Front Transportation Services transported Canadian magazine editor Elise Jette around the River Region for three days to visit attractions including Connie’s Restaurant and San Francisco Plantation.

Tickets are $10 for children ages 6 to 13 and free for ages 5 and under. Cost of tickets covers transportation and admission to Whitney, Oak Alley or Laura plantations or Soul River African American History.

Adams hopes the grand opening makes the public aware of reliable transportation while fostering support for local businesses.

Promoting economic development is a goal accomplished by partnering with Clay’s Café and several small business vendors who will set up booths outside of the restaurant on the day of the event, she said.

“We’re called United Front because we’re bringing several different entities together, not just us as a business,” Adams said.

A blessing and ribbon cutting follows at 10 a.m. Feb. 22 at Destiny Christian Center on Main Street in LaPlace.

In many ways, Destiny is where it all started.

James, Adams and Williams are all St. John the Baptist Parish natives and longtime church members, where they’ve learned valuable lessons about service and compassion.

Audrey Alexis and family were transported to New Orleans to board a Carnival Cruise Ship.

Adams had been running transportation services for schoolchildren since 2010, providing a safe and family-oriented alternative to crowded school buses.

Meanwhile, Williams was working with the elderly through a position at Ochsner Health system, and James was yearning to start her own business.

James asked God for advice through prayer, and He led her to Adams and Williams.

The three ladies met at PJ’s Coffee and found they shared a common mission of building up St. John Parish by turning strangers into family and spotlighting historic sites unique to the area.

Aspects of each of their passions were incorporated, and after discussions with their respective families, United Front Transportation Systems was formed.

Since August, the businesses’ four vans have transported customers as far as Houmas House in Darrow.

United Front Transportation Services has been opening its van doors for customers since August. Public events are planned this month to get more community members on board.

Husbands Kevin Adams, Chadwick James Sr. and Ray C. Williams have been instrumental in helping the business take off, often volunteering to drive vans early in the morning and late at night.

Kindness and patience make the trips personable, according to Adams.

James says the company’s medical appointment trips are unique because Williams will stay in the waiting room until they are done and occasionally communicate with nurses about scheduling.

Dayna Mason James, from left, Shaun Adams and Yolanda Fleming Williams are longtime members of Destiny Christian Center in LaPlace.

“I developed a love and passion for working with the elderly from seeing my mother do the same thing,” Williams said. “I’ll be there, even if it’s just lending an ear to them.”

James said United Front is expanding to work with the River Parishes Tourist Commission, the film industry and St. John Parish officials to bring focus to the region.

“It’s time for our small businesses to start flourishing and staying in business,” James said.

“There’s so much history in St. John, St. James and St. Charles. We have people from different states coming here for stuff that is right in our backyard.”

Adams wants to show the community that the region is more successful when united.

“We can come together with one another; no envy or jealousy or backbiting,” Adams said.

“We can make St. John Parish grow. Everything is always about New Orleans, but there is so much we can do right here.”

For information on pricing, call 877-275-2989.