The Navettes du Giffre operated by Autocars Jacquet

Publié le 12 February 2024
Autocars Jacquet - Bus
Autocars Jacquet - Geolite application conducteur
Autocars Jacquet - Geolite Back office

Autocars Jacquet is a family-owned company based in Marnaz, specializing in passenger transportation in Haute-Savoie, France.

Having won a tender at the end of 2023, Autocars Jacquet now operates the Navettes du Giffre network on behalf of Communauté de communes des Montagnes du Giffre. These free winter shuttles traverse the territory from Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval to Châtillon-sur-Cluses, passing through Samoëns.

The transportation company has equipped itself with our Geolite Operation Control & PI system for real-time fleet tracking, ensuring an optimal passenger experience with the implementation of a passenger application. Drivers also have access to a GPS guidance system and integrated scheduling through the Operation Control & PIS.

On this occasion, we had the opportunity to speak with Julie Belouet, Business and Marketing manager at Autocars Jacquet.

Autocars Jacquet - Les Navettes du Giffre


Julie, can you introduce yourself?

Sure, my name is Julie Belouet. I have been the Business and Marketing Manager at Autocars Jacquet since 2020.

Can you tell me more about the company and its history?

Autocars Jacquet is a family-owned business that was created almost fifty years ago by Louis Jacquet, the grandfather of the current president, Julien Jacquet. A few years after its establishment, it was taken over by Julien’s father, Michel Jacquet, who led the company with his wife for several decades. In 2020, upon his father’s retirement, Julien took over the management of the company.

Was the company created out of passion or was there an existing need at the time?

Actually, neither. The story goes that at the time, Louis Jacquet bought an old farmhouse in Le Reposoir, a small village located ten kilometers from the depot. In the hanger, there was an old bus, which he completely refurbished to create a line between Le Reposoir and the market in Cluses. It was a great success, and gradually, we started to provide some school transportation.

Later, when Michel Jacquet took over, the company began to grow, organize, and expanded to offer various occasional, tourist, and school transportation services. The company has continued its development since Julien took over in 2020.

What is currently the main activity?

Today, we distinguish regular activities, which are contractual such as school services or regular lines, representing about 60% of our turnover. The remaining 40% consists of occasional and tourist activities, such as personnel transport, airport transfers for groups, and transportation services for seminars.

These are activities with sporadic demands but now account for 40% of the turnover.

And in terms of the scope of activity, do you operate on a larger scale?

We operate throughout the department and sometimes even at the regional level. However, our focus is to be present around the depot, in the area where we have always been located.

We do not aim to establish ourselves 200 kilometers from the depot or cover too large a perimeter; it is not the ambition of the company.

I imagine that you are not the only ones in the transportation market in the region. Does everyone find their place?

Yes, we are far from being the only transporter. I believe the region and the department are large enough for all professionals in the sector.

There is work for everyone.

Yes, exactly. Sincerely, I think there is work for everyone. Today, we are all colleagues and, in the end, a bit of competitors at the same time. In some cases, on certain markets that cover a large territory, we may be required to respond collectively or use subcontracting.

How man vehicles do you have in your fleet?

All activities combined? and all types? We have a variety, from vans to coaches and buses, covering all activities. Today, we have about 80 vehicles, and in terms of employees, we can say that over the year, we rely on a team of about 75 employees, and during the peak of winter activity, we reach almost 100 employees.

25 additional employees for the season?

Yes! This year, it is for the operation of the Skibus shuttles of the Communauté de Communes des Montagnes du Giffre. It is the first year that we have hired seasonal workers. Indeed, we brought them in from December 15 to April 15. 

So, this is the first time you provide services on skibus shuttles?

Yes, it’s the first time.

You responded to a call for tenders from the Communauté de Communes des Montagnes du Giffre to operate the Skibus network. What convinced you to respond?

It’s a sector that we particularly appreciate, close to home. Moreover, it’s a client we already know very well. We have been working with them for several years for school services, and we also provide a lot of after-school transportation for schools in the area. In the end, it seemed natural for us to position ourselves.

Is the mobility offer also present during the summer?

Yes, since there is a need throughout the summer, and we have been operating summer shuttles for two years now.

Once the tender was won, how did it go? Did you have to create the entire offer internally? Was it already in place?

The offer was already created. All the lines, the transport plan, everything was already established. Before us, the shuttles were operated by one of our colleagues.

The offer could be improved. Some things were reviewed, additional lines, fewer lines, frequencies were adjusted, and the type of vehicles as well.

This new activity required personnel. Did you feel the current issue of the driver shortage? Did you have recruitment difficulties?

It’s always a bit complicated to find drivers, but we were able to accommodate all of them, which facilitated recruitment, especially when you consider the housing issues in ski resorts.

In terms of passengers, do you have an estimate of the numbers on the different lines?

Today, in the commercial offer, it was mandatory to respond with an Operation control & PI system, and your tool is very important with the Iris interconnection. Thanks to this, the client will have counting statistics to reshape the offer from year to year.

Previously, there was only manual counting on the ski bus shuttles, and that is rarely very reliable. In fact, this data will help improve the offer to avoid running empty buses or, conversely, doubling lines at peak hours. They rely on us and on you to help and support them in improving their transportation offer.

Passenger clients have access to the “Les Navettes du Giffre” passenger application, where they can track the real-time location of their bus. Was this a customer demand?

Yes, and I think it’s really in line with the times. In just two clicks, they can see how soon the next bus will arrive.
Les Navettes du Giffre - App voyageur

Did you encounter any issues regarding the implementation of the tool?

No, no issues. It’s just that, indeed, it’s a significant effort to implement. We had to map out all the lines, schedules, and routes. But honestly, we were well-supported, and we still are today, with Tiphaine and Nicolas. That’s also one of the reasons why we chose Hubup. They are available, and whenever there is a problem, it is resolved very quickly.

In the support, we recognized ourselves in Hubup. We remember thinking that you reminded us a bit of us, a human-sized company that takes the time and, above all, is committed to supporting its clients.

That’s what we aim to highlight, proximity, and support.

Yes, that’s what Tiphaine promised us, and honestly, we feel it.
Accompagnement - Autocars Jacquet
Autocars Jacquet - Accompagnement conducteur
Autocars Jacquet - Accompagnement régulateurs

Do you have any feedback specific to the tool?

I think it’s appreciated by the drivers in the sense that they don’t have to do anything, they don’t have to change their destination display; they start the system in the morning, and the routes unfold. It’s quite easy to use again. If the driver does six courses, they log in in the morning, enter their credentials, and it works all day. We’ve also had some feedback from customers who appreciate being able to track the bus in real-time.

Has the guidance tool integrated into Geolite helped drivers navigate routes more confidently?

We still spent a lot of time training them to avoid them figuring things out on their own, even with your tool. When there are multiple lines and drivers who don’t know the entire area, even with very good training, they may need the tool to reassure themselves. So yes, I think the tool helps with navigation.

And more broadly, do you have any projects or desires for expansion?

When Julien took over the company four years ago, there were about thirty or forty employees from memory. Today, we have doubled the workforce. Again, we don’t have the goal of conquering the world. We have markets that are dear to us in sectors that we appreciate. What we mainly want for 2024 is to stabilize our markets and workforce. In the last three years, we have won quite significant contracts, so now we need to ensure and manage them properly.

What is the duration of the contract for the winter shuttles?

Six years, the contact ends in 2029.

Thank you Julie, for your answers and your feedback on the implementation of the winter shuttles with Autocars Jacquet.

You’re welcome!
Les Navettes du Giffre
Les Navettes du Giffre
Les Navettes du Giffre - Samoëns

Thanks to Julie for sharing her experience, and to the Autocars Jacquet team for their trust! Wishing them a smooth journey and a fantastic winter season!