Sustainable Transportation In Action
by Rebecca Anzel & Jenifer Chiodo
Stony Brook University’s Department of Transportation & Parking Operations, Parking Enforcement, SBU Transit and Division of Campus Residences have incorporated the use of fuel efficient hybrid vehicles to navigate campus, which provides the University with reliable sustainable transportation.
It was approximately four years ago when Transportation Fleet Manager Dave McAvoy and his University colleagues implemented a plan to introduce more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly transportation alternatives for University staff to utilize. Such alternatives included the implementation of Toyota Prius’ as a standard hybrid vehicle that is used by University administrators, managers and trades staff to travel between meetings, appointments and other official business. In addition to Toyota Prii, the University also uses six Global Electric Mobile (GEM) cars, which are 100% electric, emit zero emissions and are often driven on the West, South and Southampton Campuses. The implementation of such vehicles provides financial savings in the form of reduced fuel and maintenance expenses’, as well as mitigated impact on the natural environment. Since purchasing and implementing fuel efficient vehicles in its fleet, Stony Brook University has not looked back.
“If we are going to commit to being a sustainable institution,” McAvoy said, “we have to start right here at our University by re-examining our modes of transportation.”
SBU’s Division of Facilities & Services, Department of Transportation & Parking Operations and Division of Campus Residences routinely considers and evaluates new technologies and transportation methods which are aimed at helping create both a financial savings and reduce the University’s carbon footprint. To date, the University has invested in eight Toyota Prii and six Global Electric Mobile (GEM) cars. Of the eight Prii, the Division of Campus Residences, Parking Enforcement, Campus Operations & Maintenance and SBU Transit each invested in one, and the Department of Transportation & Parking Operations invested in four. The introduction and use of fuel efficient vehicles is often paired with the replacement of an older vehicle, which are typically less fuel efficient and have higher maintenance expenses. Most recent Prius purchases have replaced vehicles which include a 1997 Ford Explorer and a 2002 Chevrolet Impala, which are both vehicles that consumed fuel in the 14 to 18 miles per gallon range. The Toyota Prii are “excellent” for the University’s needs “due to their low maintenance requirements, efficiency and affordability,” McAvoy said. He added that each Prius gets approximately 45 to 50 miles per gallon of fuel, and are able to make the occasional pick-up/drop-off trip to the metropolitan area on just six gallons of gas.
In addition to the Prius, the University also uses a small fleet of GEM cars in order to travel between buildings. Running only on electricity, GEM cars can travel more than 20 miles on a single charge and like most low-speed vehicles, they are equipped with safety belts, a windshield wiper and safety glass. The University uses five (5) two-seat and one (1) four-seat GEM cars to perform various tasks on campus, which includes traveling between buildings, moving computers and touring the campus.
For more information on this initiative, please contact:
Stony Brook University
Office of Sustainability