PITTSTON— Charles Esposito and Joseph Lobrutto’s company has been responsible for transporting Pittstonians for almost a century.
Started 85 years ago by their grandfather Cologero Lobrutto, Yatesville Bus Company was headquartered across the street from the flatiron building in Pittston City. In 1963, the company moved to its current location at 1095 S. Township Blvd. and, later that decade, Yatesville Bus Company purchased the Dunmore-based Parrish Transportation Company.
In 1988, cousins Charles, 57, and Joseph, 59, took over Yatesville Bus Company from the three-person team that included their uncle Sam Lobrutto and their fathers, Carmen Esposito and Louis Lobrutto.
As third-generation owners, Charles and Joseph, both of Pittston, were tasked with continuing tradition while modernizing the business to compete in a changing world. In the early 2000s, that modernization drew them away from one service that was beginning to decline: charter busses.
“The coaches were seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” Charles said. “We got older. It was a good business, I mean, we were making money, but it was taking a toll on us.”
Joseph said the co-owners do a little bit of everything — garage work, driving, whatever is needed. With the demand of the charter bus business taking its toll on the two, they decided to sell their busses. Joseph said the decision was a fortuitous one from a business perspective.
“We got out of it probably a good time because, a few years later, Pennsylvania got gambling and everything and a lot of bus companies folded.”
After selling the charter busses, Charles and Joseph needed to find a new source of income. The answer was in a market the two wanted to enter for a long time.
“We always wanted to get into the limo business and then when we sold the coach business, we needed something,” Joseph said. “It was the perfect opportunity.”
The pair purchased two limousines, attached the long-owned Parrish name to their new venture and began taking bookings. Today, Parrish Limousines’ fleet is 10 vehicles strong with options available for birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, weddings, concerts, wine tours and more.
Five years ago, Charles and Joseph purchased Custom Trim Inc., a vinyl decal shop for automobiles and signs that sat adjacent to their building. Charles said that’s the extent of their business expansion.
“We’re comfortable right where we are,” he said.
Yatesville Bus Company’s umbrella now includes Parrish Limousines and Custom Trim Inc., but Charles and Joseph never strayed away from the business’ roots. They currently hold contracts with Pittston Area School District, Scranton Preparatory School, Holy Redeemer High School in Wilkes-Barre and Dunmore’s Holy Cross High School.
Joseph said Yatesville Bus affords him one of his favorite parts of the job.
“Driving the elementary kids,” Joseph said. “They’re a lot of fun.”
Charles said continuing the family tradition by serving their hometown and surrounding communities is something in which the two take pride.
“It’s been an honor all these years, it really has,” Charles said. “We’ve been lucky. We were very lucky.”
Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.