Advance Transit’s (AT) facility, located in Wilder, Vermont, has been renamed the Van Chesnut Transit Operations Center in honor of former Executive Director Van Chesnut, who served the organization for 35 years before retiring on November 15, 2022.
Chesnut’s work as Executive Director began in 1986 and proved integral to AT’s success. During his tenure, Chesnut’s forward-thinking strategy, strong planning, and effective relationship-building were crucial to AT’s growth as it worked to serve the needs of the community. From humble beginnings in the early 1980s, the organization has grown to become part of the fabric of Upper Valley life, having now provided over thirteen million passenger trips and offering fare-free transit to the communities of Hartford and Norwich in Vermont, and Lebanon, Hanover, Enfield, and Canaan in New Hampshire.
Over the years, as the need for AT’s services grew, so did the organization’s operations. Chesnut assembled a dependable team of drivers, maintenance crew, and office staff dedicated to providing safe, effective, and friendly public transportation services. In 1994, AT’s headquarters moved to its current location at the Billings Commerce Park in Wilder, Vermont. In 2011, after a successful capital campaign, AT expanded its operations center, doubling in size and achieving LEED certification.
Today, AT’s site includes its administrative offices and a topnotch maintenance facility. It has implemented systems that both reduce operating costs and produce real environmental benefits. For example, AT actively harvests rainwater that is used to wash buses. The facility also features a solar array and a system for recycling used motor oil into a heat source.
Sustainability is one of AT’s driving forces. One of Chesnut’s final initiatives as Executive Director was the acquisition of electric buses to add to AT’s current fleet. These buses are slated to begin service in the months ahead and AT has invested in the infrastructure needed to maintain the new vehicles.
“Van’s leadership has been essential in keeping our organization at the forefront of transit technology,” shares current AT Executive Director Adams Carroll. “His focus on innovation and sustainability has placed AT on track for continued growth. Renaming our operations center is a tribute to Van’s many years of dedicated service and his invaluable impact on both the organization and the community. We’re extremely grateful for all that he has done.”
For more information, contact Trish Palao, Director of Marketing and Philanthropy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 295-1824.