69510  SOUCIEU-en-JARREST    

Soucieu-en-Jarrest is a village 14 kms south-west of Lyon, still quite rural and with a population of 4,400 inhabitants in 2015. But in 1936, there were only 1,186 residents, and it was truly a country village.


This story really begins with Marius Jasserand. Little is recorded about him beyond the fact that he owned and operated two routes south-west from Lyon to Mornant, one running via Taluyers and one via Orliénas.

In 1932 the vehicles used on the two routes (sadly information on the makes is missing) were:

4757 PF 3    25 seats
585 PF 4      43 seats
2917 PF 1    20 seated + 5 standing
6501 PF 2    27 seated+ 7 standing

Then a gentlemen by the name of Joannès Bruyas decided he wanted to purchase the business. Who made the first step, what was Joannès Bruyas doing before?  We don’t know. In the end, Joannès purchased just one of the routes (the one that went via Orliénas).

postcard view of Soucieu

The sale document was signed on 30 December 1936. The price was 20,000 FRF, and the seller declared the following figures as a true indication of the worth of the business:

          Turnover      Profit  (all in FRF)
1934    80,000        5,000
1935    78,000        6,000
1936    82,000        8,000

Subsequently, the new owner usually referred to his business as “Etablissements Bruyas, Entrepreneur de Transports”.  And  the impression was given – wrongly, I believe -  that Jasserand no longer operated the alternative route via Taluyers. Maybe he had not surrendered the licence, retaining his rights, and then reactivated the route, as we shall see later.

Immediately, Joannès shortened his route, running Lyon to Soucieu-en –Jarret (these days spelt Jarrest), and abandoning the Soucieu to Mornant section.

In 1938 he was writing to the Mairie de Lyon, stating that his vehicle, a 22 seat Berliet registered 4506PF4 needed an authorised lay-over space in Lyon, at or near the Cours de Verdun terminus.


Then came the usual difficulties associated with war-time operations.
In June 1940 his vehicle was 2997 PG 4.

On 3 August 1940 OTL (the Lyon urban operator) complained of unfair competition,  particularly at St Genis Laval where the route met with the Lyon Mornant route of OTL sub-contractor Les Cars Lyonnais.

On 31 July 1940, the administration modified the route which became Lyon Perrache to Millery via Charly and Irigny – 2 returns daily. No pickups were allowed between Saint Genis Laval and Lyon.

Then on 2 September 1940 the route was shortened to run just from Soucieu-en-Jarret to Saint Genis Laval in order to economise on fuel.  And there was a spectacular incident where for a short time he could not run the service because he was refused fuel, because his name had inadvertently been left off of the list of approved transporters – this had to be rectified by the Préfecture.


On 5 November 1946, Sunday services from Lyon to Soucieu were resumed, but limited to two returns.
Bruyas and Jasserand may not have been at one another’s throats, but there was undoubtedly friction between the two of them.
In 1952, the authorities proceeded to determine the rights of the two parties, based on a protocol signed on 30 March 1950.
It was confirmed that Bruyas would run 5 daily returns from Soucieu to Lyon via Brignais, this being the Jasserand frequency on 21 April 1934.
Jasserand kept the Mornant to Lyon via Soucieu and Brindas sevice with 7/8 returns on weekdays and 11/13 returns on Sundays.

Cars Bruyas timetable

This 1952 timetable is little more than a typewritten sheet

Headed notepaper in 1961

Cars Bruyas letterhead

Official archives are full of details of spot fines issued by the roving inspectors from the Department of Transport, quite often wrongly issued or filed without action. Rarely is there more than a warning. Examples -

In 1961, a coach touring in the Vosges, driven by Roger Dalmas, was stopped and errors were found in the client contract hire documents.
The vehicle concerned was:
7691BA69, a Berliet PLH8MI VIN 3C92 - 42 seats - new in 1959

On 1 July 1964, Louis Bruyas, 63 years old, born on 28/06/1900 at Taluyers, was unable to supply an insurance certificate, which had been lost.

In 1972 the business was involved in the same issue of unauthorized fare increases as Cars Lyonnais – but Bruyas, which had also aligned its fares on those of Transports Citroën, put them right quickly and escaped with just a warning.

So at some time, Joannès had disappeared from the scene and Louis had taken his place. Who was Louis Bruyas? We do not know. He was presumably family, but not Joannès’ son, since Joannès was not his father’s name.

But Louis was the owner of the business at the time of his death on 5 May 1967 and under his estate, in 1968, the business passed to Roger Dalmas (born 02/08/1932 and son-in-law), married to his only child, Odette (born 29/12/1931).

A new twist to the story, in 1971, was the registering of the “Société Les Cars Bruyas, Société d’exploitation” – with a capital of 20,000 FRF - RCS 67A1772. The lease was for 2 years and tacitly renewable, beginning on 01/05/1971. The annual rent was 36,000 FRF.

Vehicles transferred under the contract were:

2010 AS 69     Berliet PLB8
7691 BA 69     Berliet PLH8M
9224 BN 69     Berliet PHN10
6909 CF 69      Berliet PHN 10
1034 CY 69     Saviem SC5P

A société d’exploitation is a not uncommon structure in France. The real owners keep the fixed assets apart, and the capital of the operating company can be opened up to outsiders who participate in the operating profits, as was the case here, but who do not share in the ownership of the assets.  The new entrant in the business was Mr Letierce.

In the same year, on 7 September 1971, the business was authorized to extend the route to Verchery.

But one point had been overlooked.
Bruyas held a number of subsidized schools contracts, awarded to Cars Bruyas. The société d’exploitation was viewed by the Department of Transport as a new operator (new legal identity). The law states that where the named business does not operate contracts itself, the decision reverts to the Préfecture. In other words, another tendering process became obligatory.

Taking a specific case, the schools service Chausson – Rontalon - Mornant  produced two propositions. One, from Cars Lyonnais, was calculated by the administration as requiring a subsidy of 132 FRF TTC per day. The Cars Bruyas offer was judged to be 204,75 FRF TTC per day. Bruyas considered the circuit would take them 40 minutes, Les Cars Lyonnais would take 1h05. An independent control put the journey time at 55 minutes, probably more in winter. Les Cars Lyonnais were more credible on all fronts.

Mr Letierce, gérant of the Société d’Exploitation, undoubtedly spent a lot of time stating his case. Bruyas had operated the circuit since its inception. The Sarl société d’exploitation had been created with capital from DALMAS and LETIERCE to enable expansion. He himself, Jean Eugène Letierce, 17 rue Port du Temple à Lyon, had registered his activity with the Tribunal de Commerce ( RCS Lyon 71B548) on 15 July 1971.

At the time, there was no obligation on the tendering authority to accept the lowest tender. In the end, the committee agreed to accept the Bruyas revised offer of 166,40 FRF TTC per day.

But on 20 August 1973, the escape clause in the Société d’Exploitation was activated, and the contract cancelled.

Nothing more recent is on file. Had MM Delmas and Letierce  had enough?   Did they sell out to Cars Lyonnais? We don’t know, for the moment……….


In 2017, Soucieu is served by two Transdev RAI (ex Cars Lyonnais) routes. On weekdays the 114 runs Oullins to Taluyers. And on Saturdays it is replaced by the 145 – Oullins to Rive de Gier, which on that day only is diverted via Soucieu.

Clive D’EATH  -  18/03/2017

The story of another Rhône operator can be found here  -  Marius Jasserand

Note  -  this is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information
Nota  -  Il s'agit d'un site d'archives historiques et ne contient pas de données actuelles