MORRISON – The vehicles have changed, but the values have not wavered.
R.C. Smith Transportation, which this year celebrates 60 years in business in Morrison, still aims to be courteous, reliable and safe.
"We've adapted to the changing economy and changing needs of the community," said Jody Reisenbigler, vice president of the company. "People like to do business with our company because we have small-town values. ... We still have a lot more compassion."
After a few years of using a station wagon to transport his children to and from school, Robert C. Smith started the company in 1953.
Today it is owned by Jody's husband, Dale Reisenbigler, who bought it from his father, Merle Reisenbigler, just a few years ago.
Over the years, Dale has held many positions within the company. As a boy, he walked Ty, the company founder's dog, and emptied trash cans in the office. Then, as a teenager, he helped the mechanics in the shop. Years later, he drove charter coaches and school buses and worked in the office.
The business has changed a bit over 6 decades.
"We stick to the basics we were formed on; we still do school buses, charter buses and the livery, back and forth to the airport," Jody said.
But the company has found a niche in nonemergency medical transportation. Drivers transport patients home from the hospital or to other facilities, such as rehabilitation or assisted living facilities.
The company contracts with hospitals in eastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota to southern Wisconsin to the Chicagoland area.
It also has added courier services to its offerings.
R.C. Smith still does luxury sedan services for private and corporate travel, airport transportation, charter coach transportation, and school bus transportation for the Morrison schools.
The fleet today includes three charter buses, three vans, two limos for private use, two limos for funerals, and eight Lincoln Town Cars. R.C. Smith vehicles have traveled all over the United States, to almost every state, and a few times to Canada.
The Reisenbiglers hope to continue the legacy of the company.
"We hope that, as we've built it, we will be able to pass it on to another generation and they can celebrate 30 years down the road," Jody said. "We're still surrounded by this history, so we keep trying, keep pushing though, so we will have something to pass on."