C&J recently celebrated 50 years of serving our riders, a milestone we’re very proud of. It was an opportunity for us to reflect on where we’ve been, of course, but it was also an opportunity for us to consider how we’ll continue to innovate and serve our riders and our communities in the 50 years to come.
With that in mind, C&J Owner Jim Jalbert spoke recently at our facility in Rollinsford, New Hampshire about the path that brought him here, the future changes he envisions for the company, and how far C&J has come, as you’ll see in the video below.
Our service began running in 1968, as Jim Jalbert fondly remembers, with Checker Aerobuses running to Logan Airport from Dover, New Hampshire. As Jim recalls, Interstate 95 did not yet run all the way down from Portsmouth to Massachusetts for the first decade-plus C&J was in business under the steady hand of Jim’s father. Riders were picked up at the toll plaza along the way, a far cry from the comfortable stations riders have access to today.
In those early days, C&J was laying the foundation for what the company would become with a service-centric mindset and heavy involvement in the local community. The growth over 50 “incredible” years has come as we steadily expanded the service in a way that made sense for our riders and our team.
“It was just in 1981 that I was given the opportunity to step in and take charge of the company along with a couple of my brothers,” Jalbert said. “And I sit back and think about everything we’ve done, the number of people we’ve carried, the number of folks who work for us today, and all the good fortune we’ve had, and we couldn’t have had it without all the people who ride our buses every day.”
Today, C&J offers over 38 trips per day and carries more than 700,000 people per year. The Checker Aerobuses are gone, replaced by coaches equipped with comfortable seats, free WiFi, and other amenities. Now C&J travels not just from Dover to Logan Airport, but also as far north as Ogunquit, Maine and as far south as New York City.
“Our whole business has changed. And what it’s really done is allowed us to better serve you, our customers,” Jalbert said.
In addition, the charitable spirit that Jim’s father instilled in him is something he has tried to instill in his sons as they become more and more involved in the business. Today, C&J regularly gives time, money and bus trips to organizations doing good work in the Seacoast, including the Cocheco Valley Humane Society, Prescott Park Arts Festival, The Music Hall in Portsmouth, and The Dover Triangle Club.
“We donate to countless charities,” Jalbert said, “And we are so fortunate to give back.”
What lies ahead for C&J? The business will continue to be family run, as it has been for its entire 50-year history, with Jim’s sons Brooks and Cameron becoming more involved in the day-to-day operations. Jim, meanwhile, is pushing forward on a number of initiatives designed to make every C&J bus trip a more enjoyable experience.
“What’s next? Well, it’s already begun! Our automation for our point-of-sale system and our ticketing has gotten so much better and more easy to use,” he said, noting that C&J has already begun to upgrade seating and entertainment options for riders.
The next big initiative will be onboard ticketing, to allow drivers to scan tickets directly from passengers’ phones, eliminating the need for paper tickets.
Above all, the Jalbert family will continue to make hard work and innovation a priority for the next year, the next decade, and the next 50 years.