Driven to Find a Better/New Life in America

Luka Stankovic from Bosnia has always been driven. Since 1987, his drive to succeed pushed him to do just that — drive. He started a cab business that year and has been in the business ever since.

Not long after that, fighting in Bosnia started in 1992 and Luka had a daughter that same year. As the conflict there kept getting worse and worse, Luka felt the need to leave the country for his family’s safety.

Starting over

When they left their home country, Luka and his family left behind many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. His sister-in-law was already in Idaho, so he looked into coming here. They arrived in Boise in August 2000. They immediately loved the area and the city where he lived in Bosnia is about the same size as Boise.

“I came to America 19 years ago and didn’t know any English,” says Luka. “I was already 40 and too old to go back to school. I decided to keep doing what I already knew how to do: driving taxi cabs. I have always been hardworking and determined. And I approached starting my business here in Idaho the same way.”

Back in the taxi business

Luka bought ABC Dispatch three years ago. Currently he has eight vehicles in his fleet, including four mini vans and four cars. ABC Dispatch is open 24 hours a day, including holidays. In fact, Luka’s son Ervin who helps him with the business says holidays like Christmas are their busiest time. ABC Dispatch is a family business, and Luka’s daughter Amelijah also helps out.

In the future, Luka wants to add more vehicles to the ABC Dispatch fleet. “We have many repeat customers,” says Ervin. Today Luka and Ervin are proud of their business and the family has been in the same home in Boise for 15 years. “I am now 60 years old and I am very happy with my life and business here,” says Luka. “This is a great country where people can work and be successful. I am very grateful to be able to start a life here.”

Along with ABC Dispatch, Luka also owns three other taxi companies — Moon Taxi, Allied Taxi and New York Taxi. Fleets from these companies primarily provide transportation services at the airport.

Moving forward

In their free time, the family likes to spend time together and they love going to the area’s hot springs. They still honor their Bosnian traditions and culture and still celebrate Bosnian holidays in their home. Both of Luka’s kids have done some schooling here in Boise and he hopes the cab business can help support them through school.

Luka is grateful to the support Jannus and EO have given him over the years, which includes loans for vehicles and to help him operate his business. A friend referred Luka to Jannus not long after he arrived in Boise.

Looking to the future, Ervin wishes the best for Bosnia and feels sad about the things people have to endure there. “Life is still difficult in our home country,” says Ervin. “I visited a few years ago and it’s still common to hear gun shots around town.”

Advantageous partnerships

ABC Dispatch currently partners with various organizations around town to provide transportation for patients at Raymond Clinic, a family medicine health center. For more information about getting rides to the Raymond Clinic, call 208-777-Raymond.

ABC Dispatch is also part of the Scrip Taxi Program, a subsidized taxi program for individuals age 15 and older who have a permanent disability that makes it hard for them to drive a vehicle. If you’re interested in this program, call 208-345-7433.

Luka and ABC Dispatch also have partnerships with other hospitals and organizations and is interested in forging new partnerships. Call 208-344-4444 if you’d like to inquire about partnering with ABC.

How to get a ride

If you’d like to arrange a ride with ABC Dispatch, call 208-344-4444. For more information about ABC Dispatch, email centralcabdispatch@gmail.com.