69440  MORNANT

- 1924 to 1952 -

MORNANT is typical of what were once small villages to the south-west of Lyon, in this case at a distance of 25 kms.  In 1931, the population was 1,600.

By 2015, this had grown to 5,600, and Mornant had become – almost – part of the Greater Lyon area.

We met Marius in the story of Autocars Bruyas, but I can now enlarge on his contribution to the transport history of the region.

Marius’ father, François, was a baker by trade but then ran the Café de la Mairie at Mornant with his wife. Marius was born in 1900, and shared with his father a love of driving. Marius delivered post by van during the First World War – although he was only 15, his proficiency behind a steering-wheel was such that the army gave him special dispensation. François later became a taxi driver.

Place de la Liberte Mornant


According to his own account, Marius came on the bus scene in 1924.
It was 10 years later, when the authorities were coordinating transport in the département, that under the law of 19 April 1934, operators had to declare their routes for the purpose of registration.

Mr Jasserand laid claim to the Mornant – Lyon corridor, with two variants:
    -  Lyon – Taluyers - Mornant with 5 returns per day, and
    -  Lyon - Soucieu - Mornant with 5 returns per day, both routes declared as operated since 1924.

It was a corridor where both Balaye (Cars Lyonnais) and Transports Citroën were also active.

It was also in 1934 that the OTL stopped running country trams to Mornant, and Marius replaced the route with a bus. This was the beginning of an unending squabble with the OTL, who the Jasserand family believed wanted to reclaim the route.
And he had other things to occupy him, as he was an agent for Chenard-Walker, for Chausson and for the Panhard/Somua/Willème group. At the Lyon end of his route, he had premises at 13, cours de Verdun, close to the Perrache station.

But somewhere there may have been an error in his declaration, for In September 1932, he wanted an authorization to begin a service from Lyon (Quai Gailleton) to Mornant via Brignais and Taluyers, with 4 returns on weekdays, and 7 on Sundays. The Ponts et Chaussées thought so too, and noted on his declaration in 1934 that maybe not all his services had begun in 1924. 

OTL (the Lyon urban operator) formally opposed the 1932 request, citing unnecessary competition on three existing OTL corridors:
    -  Lyon to Sept Chemins via Oullins, St. Genis and Brignais
    -  Lyon to Mornant
    -  Lyon to Orliénas and Taluyers via Sept Chemins.

During these years, you will find a similar objection from OTL in every file where a route would have its terminus in Lyon. Usually it was settled by an undertaking not to accept local traffic along the OTL portion of the route.
In this case, all the local councils along the route had sent in copies of their votes in favour of the new bus service, and authorizations were accorded on 5 September and 30 December 1933. But he was permanently ‘at war’ with OTL.

In his 1934 declaration, Mr Jasserand stated that six vehicles were owned: 3 were 23 seat Berliet 16hp new on 10/03/1933, one was a 23 seat Berliet 19hp new in February 1921, one was a 37 seat Latil 21hp new in 1931, and one was a coach for excursions, a Rochet (Schneider) 14 seater, 19hp new in 1930.

An undated and incomplete vehicle list in the file appears to relate to the same period, and so is reproduced here. There are definite links with the 1934 declaration.
It specifies that two coaches are used (23 seaters) mainly for winter sports excursions to Isère and Savoie.

4506PF4      Berliet    22 + 5 capacity seated and standing
1766PF5      Latil    35
2917PF        Latil     23 + 6
4757PF3      Berliet    23 + 5
4507PF4      Berliet     23 + 4
4806PF4      Berliet     22 + 5
3274PF6      Saurer    26    replaces 5315C4 Rochet 13 seats
6195PF6      Renault    - non- runner: no certificate of fitness
5495PF9      Berliet    26 + 450kg
345PG         Berliet    27 + 400kg
748PF4        Citroën 15hp
2910PF9      ?? 19hp    35 + 500kg
6953PG       ??

Mr Jasserand owned the rights to the service from Soucieu en Jarret to Lyon, which he had created himself in 1932. In December 1936 he sold the route – from 01/01/1937 – to Joannès BRUYAS, 22, quai Perrache, Lyon, at a price of 20,000 FRF.

The income on the route in the previous years had been:

1934    80,000 FRF    Profit 5,000 FRF
1935    78,000 FRF    Profit 6,000 FRF
1936    82,000 FRF    Profit 8,000 FRF

Subsequent friction between the two businesses over their respective rights spilled over in to frequent exchanges of letters (see the story of Autocars Bruyas).

In 1936/37, Jasserand became an agent for Berliet, and during the war, worked for some time in 1939 at the Venissieux factory, until he was needed by his own business as there was a shortage of drivers.

A Marius Jasserand vehicle some time before 1939

A Marius Jasserand vehicle some time before 1939.

1939 Sunday timetable

The 1939 timetable for Sundays– note that Jasserand operates as a sub-contractor to OTL – and with a timing at 00.15 hours!!

1939 weekday timetable

The 1939 timetable for weekdays

1939 fare table Mornant

Lyon – Mornant : 1939 fare table

Taluyers fare table 1939

Lyon – Taluyers: 1939 fare table


In war-time, Jasserand was authorized to run:
Lyon Perrache to Taluyers – 3 daily returns
Craponne to Mornant – 3 daily returns
It was the responsibility of OTL to supply the fuel, as Jasserand was classified as a sub-contractor.

Yes, Jasserand was a sub-contractor to OTL, but there were practical problems with the wartime Lyon - St. Just - Vaugneray service. Passengers had to take the funicular from Lyon to St. Just, then the train to Craponne, then the Jasserand bus to Vaugneray (not knowing whether there would be room in the bus). At best, this involved 2 changes of vehicle for a relatively short distance. Jasserand wanted to use trailer gas buses to cover the whole route. OTL agreed on 8 July 1941, the Lyon terminus being fixed at place Benoît Crépu.

Lyon – Brignais. On 6 July 1942, l’Entreprise Richoud (formerly owned by Mr Candelaresi) ceased all operations on this corridor. As a case of war-time expediency, A. Balaye was authorized to run 3 returns per day on a temporary basis. And Jasserand, who ran on the corridor as an OTL sub-contractor, was proposing to abandon OTL season tickets on the route. Naturally there was friction between Balaye and Jasserand over service frequency and duplication on the route. This was eventually resolved on 28 July 1947. After negotiations and probably compensation in some form, Mr Balaye accepted that Mr Jasserand would take over the ex Richoud services – 4 returns on weekdays, between 8 and 12 on Sundays, effective on 11 August 1947.

Mr Jasserand complained about the poor state of his tyres, as a result of which he was reducing services as from 12 June 1945 – only one return trip on Taluyers – Orliénas – Lyon and only four vehicles on the Mornant to Lyon service.


In January 1946, Marius Jasserand requested a licence to carry parcels and goods on Mornant – Lyon, using a 2.5 ton van. A full licence was refused, but an authorization for ‘messageries’ was accorded.
He purchased new vehicles – 2 Chausson, 2 Berliet, 2 Saurer, and the Lyon terminus was either ar Cours Verdun or place Benoit Crépu.
In the winter, all vehicles were garaged in the open, except for two lucky ones kept in a garage at rue Villeneuve.

On 1 July 1949, the business was authorized to introduce a market day service on the first Friday of each month, between Mornant and Rontalon/Le Pinay.

1951 Timetables

1951 Mornant timetable Sundays

Lyon to Mornant on Sundays

Mornant weekday timetable 1951

Lyon to Mornant on weekdays

Taluyers timetable

Lyon to Taluyers


Headed notepaper 1952

Headed notepaper in 1952

The business also operated a Messimy to Vaugneray via Brindas market service. This ran on Tuesdays – an inward journey 08.00 to 08.25 and back 11.00 to 11.25. It was originally authorized on 3 April 1947.

Declaration of the Vaugneray service in 1952

Declaration of the Vaugneray service in 1952

It also now ran St. Sorlin – Mornant – Lyon (one return on Thursdays and on Fridays, with extra journeys during the Foire de Lyon and in the summer months). 

Timings in December 1952 on the St Sorlin – Mornant section were 07.20 > 07.30 and return 19.45>19.55 on Thursdays, 10.00>10.10 and 16.30>16.40 on Sundays, and had been authorized by the Comité Technique Départemental on 29 February 1952 as a trial. St Sorlin was 3.5 kms away from Mornant and was home to an orphanage, put forward, with the approval of the mayor, as a good reason for having a bus service.

Timings for the full service in March 1952 were:

Thursday – St. Sorlin 07.20 – Lyon 08.30 : Lyon 19.00 – St. Sorlin 20.00

Sunday – Lyon 09.00 – St. Sorlin 10.00 : St Sorlin 16.40 – Lyon 17.45

Declaration of the Saint Sorlin service in 1952

Declaration of the Saint Sorlin service in 1952

With the creation of a new département plan de transport, the Jasserand services were described in December 1952 as:
Taluyers to Lyon
Mornant to Lyon via Brindas
Mornant to Lyon via Brignais

However, on 26 December 1952, Marius Jasserand sold all his transport business and routes to the Sté Poulat et Driot, Mornant*,with effect from 1 January 1953. The purchase price was 19,850,000 FRF, of which 7,850,000 FRF was for the rights to the routes. Here is the detailed description, taking account of the département transport plan for 1953:

*Marcel Poulat born 07/03/1907 in Givors, address 36 rue Roget Salengro, Givors
Eugène Driot born 07/11/1922 in St. Sigolène, Haute Loire, address St Sigolène, Haute Loire.

TALUYERS to LYON via Sept Chemins and Orliénas.
Rights in 1952 – 4 returns daily (extension to Mornant possible on Fridays). No local traffic on section St. Genis Laval to Lyon (protocol of 28/04/39).
Rights applicable from 01/01/53 – three daily returns on weekdays, 4 on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

MORNANT to LYON via Soucieu and Brindas
Rights in 1952 – 7 inward, 8 outward journeys on weekdays; 11 inward, 13 outward journeys on Sundays. No local traffic on section Craponne to Lyon (protocol of 28/06/39)
Rights applicable from 01/01/53 – on weekdays ; 3 journeys Mornant – Lyon, 2 journeys Soucieu – Lyon, 1 trip Brindas – Lyon, 5 journeys Lyon – Mornant, 1 trip Lyon – Soucieu. On Sundays 3 returns Mornant – Lyon, 2 returns Soucieu – Lyon.

MORNANT to LYON via Brignais
Rights in 1952 – 7 returns daily of which 5 authorised to pick up passengers at Sept Chemins, and 2/3 authorised to pick up passengers at Soucieu. No local traffic on section St. Genis Laval – Lyon (protocol 28/04/39)
Rights applicable from 01/01/53 – Weekdays – 6 journeys Mornant – Lyon (4 via Sept Chemins, 2 via Soucieu), 4 journeys Lyon – Mornant (2 via Sept Chemins, 2 via Soucieu), 1 journey Lyon – Soucieu.
Sundays – 4 Journeys Mornant – Lyon, (3 via Sept Chemins, 1 via Soucieu); 5 journeys Lyon – Mornant (3 via Soucieu, 2 via Sept Chemins).

MESSIMY – VAUGNERAY – 1 return on Tuesdays (autorisation 03/04/47)
RONTALON – LE PINAY – MORNANT – 1 return 1st Friday of the month (authorization 23/06/49)
Extension of LYON – MORNANT to ST. SORLIN – 1 return on Thursdays plus one return on Sundays in summer (authorization 03/04/52).

Vehicles included in the sale were (with estimated value in francs):

2501X69       Berliet PCH    19hp    500,000
2502X69       Berliet PCK7     19hp    1,000,000
2504X69       Chausson APH    15hp    2,000,000
2505X69       Berliet PCH    19hp    500,000
2506X69       Berliet PCH    19hp    500,000
2507X69       Berliet PCH    19hp    500,000
2509X69       Saurer 3CT1D    21hp    2,700,000
4253X69       Chausson APH    15hp    2,000,000
586V69         Berliet    GDSL12 23hp    800,000
2793AA69    Citroën 7 45    12hp    1,300,000

Marius Jasserand  had recently opened a garage business at 102, avenue Jean Jaurès, Lyon, and appears to have sold in order to concentrate on cars rather than buses.

And so Marius Jasserand ended his involvement with public transport in the Rhône.
Poulat & Driot is another story!

Clive D’EATH  -  28/03/2018

The story of another Rhône operator can be found here  -  Autocars Bruyas

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