A scrapped Rutgers bus in a North Carolina field


This MAN articulated bus, once a common fixture at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, was discovered in a field full of old buses resting in peace by alumnus John Dannenbaum, who came upon it by chance this summer along Route 220 in Gold Hill, North Carolina.

John Dannenbaum

Each year, the 55 to 60 buses that roam the streets of Rutgers University–New Brunswick collectively cover about 1.3 million miles, making 75,000 passenger trips to and fro on a typical school day—among the highest college ridership numbers in the nation. But where do old buses go when they are tired and given up for gone? Most of the time, the buses, which are not owned by the university, are sold for scrap or they are auctioned and thus end up all over the United States. Some, you could say, are indeed put out to pasture, such as this MAN articulated bus, which was once a common fixture on campus. This particular bus, which had been owned by the Academy Bus Company, was refurbished and used during the 2001–2002 school year, when the newest fleet arrived, according to John Karakoglou, the manager of transit services for the Rutgers University Department of Transportation Services.

Alumnus John Dannenbaum rode the buses daily as a student—and then he came upon one this summer along Route 220 in Gold Hill, North Carolina, when he was en route to dropping off his son John for his senior year at Elon University. Stunned by his discovery, Dannenbaum LC’87 found his mind awash in questions as he photographed the lone Rutgers bus, one of hundreds of all sizes and shapes and ages resting in peace in this bus cemetery. “Why,” he wondered, “would this bus be here, in rural North Carolina?” “Man, how many hours did I spend on these buses?” “Am I going to get in trouble standing out in this field taking pictures of this bus?”

Most students who attended Rutgers University–New Brunswick have mixed feelings about all the hours they spent on Rutgers buses. But for Dannenbaum, who majored in economics, his memories aboard them are sufficiently pleasant that this photograph is framed and hangs in his Mendham, New Jersey, home. For him, and so many others, it’s the enduring icon of a Rutgers education.