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GFSD buses and vans earn a perfect “100” on DOT safety inspection

Photo of students and staff

At right, maintenance staff members Wayne MacDuff III and Chris Goff stand underneath a full-size school bus on the lift in the bus garage.

June 10, 2016 —
The New York State Department of Transportation has commended the Glens Falls City Schools bus maintenance program as among the best! Fully 100 percent of the district’s vehicles passed NYSDOT’s semi-annual bus safety inspections for the entire previous year.

“Your commendable performance indicates a strong dedication to safety and a commitment to sound maintenance standards and practices,” wrote acting director Lawrence Scotto of the Passenger Carrier Safety Bureau in a letter to the district’s facilities office in May.

photo of students

Nevaeh Williams and Marley Brogan, Jackson Heights first-graders, ride a Glens Falls school bus to a field trip on May 23, 2016. The district earned a perfect score (100 percent) on the NYSDOT safety inspection of its entire fleet of vehicles in May.

GFSD Mechanics Chris Goff and Wayne MacDuff III keep the district’s thirteen buses and six vans running safely and efficiently. “It is nearly impossible to receive a score of 100% for DOT inspections, even with a modern fleet,” says Transportation and Facilities Director Gene Figler. “Our fleet has vehicles that are as much as 15 years old. This score is over the top. These guys are amazing.”

Mr. Goff came to the district in December of 2014 after working at CWI and other businesses. He is a graduate of the auto mechanics program at Hudson Valley Community College. Mr. MacDuff first began in the district in 2009 as a cleaner. In early 2014, he began working in the bus garage with the previous mechanic on fleet maintenance, enhancing his skills.

“This is evidence of their hard work and dedication to make sure our students are transported safely," continued Mr. Figler. He also pointed to budgetary figures that show the benefit of having excellent maintenance staff members right in our own bus garage.

“In 2013-14, repair costs by outside vendors for the district fleet were $25,000. In 2014-15 they were $17,000, and so far in 2015-16, they are $614.”

The state inspects each vehicle every six months, using criteria that checks for more than 400 possible defects.