About Jean’s Bus Service Inc.
"I hadn't thought about that," Cauley said, shaking his head as he recalled his lack of preparation for starting a new business.
Cauley's answer wasn't particularly creative. he chose Jean's Bus Service, naming it for the lady who had been his friend since the sixth grade at Paris Elementary and his wife since 1956.
What it lacked in long-term planning, Jean's Bus Service has more than compensated for in efficient management. The Cauleys, who "accidentally got into the bus business" when they bought two used buses in 1979 with plans of reselling them, today own and operates a fleet of 16 motor coaches and one Executive Enternainer coach, employing 28 professional drivers and a crew of mechanics.
They lead a family managed business that weekly sends drivers around the country, taking various groups on chartered tour packages.
At 75, John Cauley stays close to the phones at the corporate office on Furman Hall Road. But in 1980 he was often on the highway as Jean ran the administrative end from the basement of their home.
"The only reason I bought those buses was to do a little work on them and resell them," Said Cauley, who at the time had spent eight years as a mechanical engineer at J.E. Sirrine Co.
"Then I had a disagreement with the man who I thought was going to buys them, and I was stuck with two buses," he said.
As they sat at the breakfast table on a cold morning in February 1980, Jean wondered aloud "if we could get some folks to ride on our buses?"
"Maybe so, " John Cauley replied.
There was one way to find out. The Cauleys, who took money from their savings account to buy the buses, had to make a quick decision.
"We paid $1500 for those buses, it took tout whole savings," John Cauley said, "We had to figure out some way to figure out some way to get that money back."
The Cauleys knew the potential was there. When their children were members of the band at Wade Hampton High School, a few years earlier, Jean Cauley learned that it was difficult finding buses for out-of-town trips. In 1979, when she worked for a summer in a local bus company, she was often reminded that the company lacked enough buses to meet the requests.
In March 1980, John Cauley, who had owned a commercial drivers license since he began driving buses at Paris High, began driving bands and athletic teams on charter trips. He said, "It just developed from there."
A big help came from the 1980 World's Fair, which attracted more than 100 local groups to Knoxville, Tenn. Typically, Cauley drove the bus to Knoxville, slept in a motel as the group enjoyed the fair, and brought the group back home that night. "I'd get home, clean the buses, and go again the next day." He said.
As the company grew, so did the assignments. Trips to Los Angeles and Nova Scotia re among the most memorable, and a trip to Amish farms in Pennsylvania is notable for its timing.
Today, John and Jean, who survived a battle with breast cancer in 2004, are surrounded in the office by daughter Jo Lynn and sons Johnny and Robbie. The latter calls his parents "the two workingest retired people you've ever seen."
the company moved to it's current location in 1994, where today it serves as a family reunion each day. Jean handles group tour planning and day-to-day operations; John is secretary of operations and safety manager; Jo Lynn serves as office manager; Johnny specializes in air-conditioning and electronic repair; youngest son Robbie, only 13 when the company started, is a certified mechanic who leads that department.
In 2007, 2008, and 2009, Robbie Cauley finished first in the mechanics rodeo of the Motor Coaches Association of South Carolina.
Over the years, Jean, John, and Jo Lynn have all served on the MCASC board of directors.
The Cauleys, who will celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary this fall, easily explain their attachment to the business.
"We enjoy what we do," says Jean Cauley
"Good morning everyone at Jeans Bus Service. We the Community of Churches Group would like to say thank you for the outstanding service that your company provided to us on last week our trip to Gatlinburg Tenn. The driver was very nice and we No complaints none whatsoever. We will always keep your company in mind for all of our traveling needs. Again we say thanks we rate your company with a triple AAA services.-H.H
"I exclusively use Jean's Charters because of their amazing staff and drivers. In the past 4 years, they have driven over 15 trips for me to places such as Disney, Williamsburg, VA, Orlando, Dayton, OH, and NYC as well as areas in the Upstate of SC. They work very hard to provide superior service and are always on time. If an issue arises, they fix it as fast as they can and to the best of their ability. Their drivers are very well mannered and very helpful with loading and unloading the bus and maintaining a clean coach. All of the buses I have recently ridden o'n have satellite television which is a nice change to the normal DVDs. I have not utilized their handicap coach as a need hasn't presented itself, yet. However, I am certain their driver would be there to assist in any means possible. I recommend Jean's without hesitation. They are a great company to work with." -P.M
"I just wanted to pass along a note regarding our trip to Columbia yesterday via your bus service. Everything went really well! Your bus was clean, seemed well maintained, smooth and the trip was uneventful (always a good thing!) Your driver (sorry, I'm terrible with names) was great! Efficient (meaning she didn't drive like a little old lady)©, but was always smooth, and as best as I could tell, very courteous to other vehicles around. No jerking around or having to slam on brakes, etc. Based on that positive experience, we'll be sure to call you when the need arises for transportation again, and will surely refer Jean's Bus Service to others that may have transportation needs. Thank-you again!." -G.S
"I would like to thank you tremendously for your help with our Charleston trip yesterday. The students had a wonderful time; some were in awe of the bridges and many were in awe of Fort Moultrie and especially the Yorktown. It is so fulfilling to see children who have not been somewhere see it for the first time. I want to personally thank you for your help in organizing and guiding our trip. We are truly thankful that you were able to work with the Yorktown financially. We are truly thankful to have had that opportunity, when without your help, our students would not have been able to see it. I hope that your expectations of us were fulfilled as well. It was a pleasure to work with you and your drivers. We will certainly call you again. Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season." -M.A
"Just wanted to take a moment to send a note about our lead bus driver on our trip last week. Demond was out of this world. He was by far one of the best driver experiences I have ever had. Although our other bus drivers were great as well, he really put forth so much effort and good humor that I really just wanted to share my compliments your way." -R.S
"I must take a few minutes of your time to sing the NYC drivers praises!!!!! I mean we couldn't get any better than those wonderful people that you provided for us. I'm telling you that's my crew!! Everyday I had a ton of things to worry about, BUT the buses or the drivers was not ever one of them. I could count on them to be on time and so kind to our students, teachers, and parents. What a pleasure to get to spend more time with them. My only hope is that I get to have them next year!" -K.C
"I want to thank you for your assistance with our Charleston trip this year, your driver was great. All of our coaches and players loved him and made sure he was included in all of our activities and meals. I told him he would be our request for next years trip although it will be in Orlando if he thought he could handle us for a week in Florida. Your company has always been very patient and helpful to our girls program and for that I'm truly grateful. I hope you have a wonderful new year and we look forward to working with you in the future" -J.T
"I just wanted to let you know that our trip to the Beach was successfully, and that our Motor Coach Driver Nick Edward was fantastic. The Christmas Shows and Original Benjamin Seafood Buffet were great even though it was cold we had a ball. My group has asked me to request that Nick be our driver on future trips and to let Jeans know that he represented their company well and is an exceptional driver. We had "church" on our return trip and the holy spirit was among us. Thanks again for providing the transportation for our trip. Men-y Christmas and a Happy New Year!" -H.S
"Our trip to the Biltmore House was a very pleasant experience. Everyone really enjoyed themselves ...... we were riding in style! Everyone agreed and appreciate the comfortable, clean bus. Oh, not to forget to tell you that our bus driver was perfect for the ride. We enjoyed her. Thanks again for your service." -B.B
"On behalf of the Concert Band, I would like to compliment you on the outstanding service we received during our recent trips to Duncan, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. The buses were well stocked and very comfortable to travel in throughout the trip. We were especially impressed with our drivers, Bob and Marlyn. Bob was prompt, friendly, polite, and knowledgeable. He went above and beyond the call of duty by interacting positively with our students, staff, and chaperones, including encouraging our students before and after the performances. Marlyn also was very warm and friendly with our students and was truly a delight. Again, thanks so much to Bob, Marlyn, and your entire staff for providing us with such a wonderful travel experience. We would love to work with you again in the very near future." -J.C
"We are writing to express our appreciation and thanks for another great trip to Panama City. A special thanks to Ross for the good job he always does in getting us there and back safely. Ross has become a part of us and we look forward to having him on our trips each year and hope he will be able to continue to be a part of these annual trips. We certainly enjoyed the new bus and look forward to using this same one for our next trip. We appreciate your keeping the rates affordable for us to be able to continue to travel with you and look forward to the next trip. As always, we thank you for your assistance in this regard." -J.S and J.S
"Hi Jean! I just wanted to let you know what a great trip my group had to Branson! Everything went smoothly and Porter did a great job driving for us. The entire trip was certainly a highlight in the lives of all. They just can't quit talking about it. Thanks again!" -K.H
"I wanted to thank you for arranging to have an experienced driver assist us for our trip to the TD Center on Friday. Our students participated in a state-wide essay contest. The winner of the contest was from our college. We appreciated that you helped this happen. Our students and instructors on the bus were treated well and they all enjoyed the safe trip to Greenville and back home to Greenwood. We were grateful for a smooth transition from PTC and back home. I will recommend your bus service to all, and if we have reason to use Jean's Bus Services again, we will definitely give you a call!" -J.B
"I just wanted to email and brag on our bus driver for our field trip last week. We have always had amazing bus drivers every time we have used your buses. Gary Brittain drove for us last week and he just went above and beyond to help us have a great day! He is truly wonderful!!! Thanks for always providing us with a positive experience!" -J.P
"I just wanted to send a note regarding our trip to Bryson City and Asheville this past weekend. Both Pedro and Terry were great. Everything went on time, smooth, and as planned. Despite some really crappy weather on the drive from Greenville to Bryson City, and some "bus unfriendly" roads both in Bryson City and at the Grove Park Inn, both drivers handled everything expertly and professionally. They are a pleasure to work with, as are both of you. Thank-you again, and when travel needs arise, I'll be calling on you." -G.S
"Hi Ms. Lynn. Wanted to say thank you for getting us two very good drivers and two very nice buses for our trip last week!! Everything went very well for us on both days. We were on time - or early - for everything we did and that's a rare event for us. Both Robert and Terri arrived ahead of schedule on Thursday morning which allowed us to pack up and leave ahead of time. They were safe and courteous and did a good job with our group. I really appreciate your help in getting our trip taken care of from the transportation side of things. We will be in touch with you again in the summer as we begin to plan for our next trip. Once we get approval to request quotes, I will contact you about next year's trip. Please pass our thanks and appreciation to Robert and Terri and anyone who helped schedule them for our group. Thanks." -G.H
"Good Morning! We really appreciated Jean's yesterday on our fourth grade field trip to the Georgia Aquarium.Mr. White and Tommy were courteous, dependable, helpful drivers and by far the best we have had on a charter for several years. Our students had a wonderful day and your professional drivers helped to contribute to that. Thank you." -C.W
"Hi, Barbara. I just wanted to let you know that Mr. Huskey did a great job on Friday. Even under the circumstances with my senior being taken to the hospital, the traffic situations we encountered and us returning home so late ... Mr. Huskey had a great attitude and did a great job for us. The bus was very nice and clean as well. We are very happy with the service we received from you and will definitely use you again in the future. Thank you as well for all your hard work with getting us booked in the first place. We would gladly recommend you to everyone. Hope you have a great week!" -M.A
"Hi Erica, Thank you for making sure our transportation needs were met during our family reunion 28 July, 31 August 16, all went well and we had a great time down to the end. My family loved our Jean's Bus and driver; Marlyn was knowledgeable, friendly and a great driver keeiping us safe, entertained and with a sense of humor and should be commended; please pass our sincere thanks to her for my family. Very Respectfully and Sincere Thanks" -J.F
"Barbara, I just want to take the time to tell you how wonderful the bus drivers were for us. Our lead driver Russell was amazing!!! He knew exactly where he was going and was on time EVERY TIME! I have never experienced this before. This made my trip 100% enjoyable! All of the drivers were outstanding! They followed the lead driver and their attitude was fabulous! All of the drivers were kind and very easy to please. Thank you for giving us such wonderful drivers! Can I go ahead and book for next year?" -K.C
"Barbara, I wanted to compliment everyone on the wonderful day yesterday. Your drivers were so nice and caring to the the children. I rode on Mr. Britian 's bus and he was so dear to ask about each event. We love working with y'all. I have already booked the Barrier Island for next year. When do y'all start taking reservations for next year? We have deposit money ready if y'all are available. Thanks again for everything." -W.B
"Good morning Jo Lynn: On behalf of the staff and students, I want to thank you and Phil Hargroves for everything that you all did to help make the Break trip a success. We were very impressed with Phil; he was a phenomenal chauffeur for our trip to Tennessee and we want to extend our gratitude. It's not always easy to work with 42 high school students over the course of three days, so we appreciate Phil being patient and flexible with us and the students. The students enjoyed getting to know Phil and I hope he feels the same way. Thank you again for your assistance. We look forward to working with you all again in the future. All the best." -D.B
"Good Afternoon! I have thought wonderful things about your company from working with you as a teacher going on a field trip. I wanted to take a moment to brag on one of your drivers of the shuttles that run at the Clemson games. We camp at the Y-beach and go to the game using your bus service as a shuttle. Each time, Preston Bell has been our driver. He does an excellent job being efficient and courteous! It has been a pleasure ridin.g. with him each time and wegreatly appreciate the quality of his service. Keep up the great work, Jean!" -T.S
"I just wanted to say thank you for serving us on our trips again this year. Our drivers did a great job. Peter and Don were especially service-oriented and that plays a big role in the choice we make in a bus company for our future travels. Thank You!" -B.B
"We had a great time on our trip and our drivers were fantastic! May I have Bob's last name again please? We have a thank you note we want to send him that the students all signed!" -K.P
"Good morning Ms. Lott, I just wanted to thank you for the very courteous service from our driver this weekend, Preston Bell. He was very professional, accommodating, and we felt that we were in good hands. All of us on the bus truly enjoyed him and the bus. Thanks and have a great Monday." -C.T
"Mr. Tommy was AWESOME! I would love for hime to drive every time! Thanks!" -A.C
Presented by MCASC Associate Members to an outstanding Operator Member to recognize professionalism and efforts to welcome associates, network, and obtain and use the information provided by associate members. August 17, 2004
Myrtle Beach, SC
Robert A. Cauley
First Place Achievement Award
In recognition of mechanics skills demonstrated
At the Fourth, Fifth, & Sixth Coach Rodeos