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ESF Acquires Three Buses, Saving the College Substantially and Providing Much-Needed Transportation

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) recently added three buses to its fleet at no cost, saving the college substantially and providing a new mode of transportation for students.

The three buses were acquired through New York state's surplus property system used by state agencies to transfer or dispose of surplus property. The listing was spotted by two eagle-eyed ESF employees—Deborah Snyder, property control assistant, and Jason Chagnon, maintenance supervisor for motor equipment—who jumped on the opportunity to secure the buses.

The new-to-ESF buses will provide student transportation year-round for athletics, fieldwork, and class field trips. They will save the College not only the cost of buying new buses, but also reduce extensive annual expenses related to external bus service.

"The purchase of buses like these would have cost the College somewhere around $725,000, and while we will need to secure employees to drive the buses, the overall budget impact to the College will be very positive," said Mark Lichtenstein, Executive Operating Officer.

Snyder and Chagnon had been hoping to secure new buses for the College pre-COVID to replace ESF's previous bus, which was no longer road-worthy. By coincidence, they were both at their computers when the email about the buses came through. Chagnon was the first person statewide to respond and successfully secured the buses for ESF. His quick action will save the College a substantial amount of money.

"Jason has been advocating for a bus for years, so this is a story of perseverance and making your own luck," said Susan Fassler, Director of Sustainable Operations.

Diana Jaramillo, Director of Facilities, added: "We are thrilled that the Office of Sustainable Facilities and Operations can answer the great need to provide internal busing for the College. We're also looking to brand the buses so that when our faculty, staff, and students travel, we can do our part in helping increase awareness of this great institution!"

The buses are undergoing basic maintenance, and the College needs to identify and train drivers before the wheels hit the ground this fall.

"This acquisition exemplifies values we encourage at ESF—employees who demonstrate initiative, a commitment to finding creative and sustainable solutions to challenges, and who put our student needs first." I applaud both Jason and Deborah," said President Joanie Mahoney.