Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday a huge consolidation of the city's fleet operations and a new focus on car rental sharing which is expected to save taxpayers more than $415 million. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
New York City has the largest fleet of municipal vehicles in the nation. It's not just emergency vehicles, but cars and trucks used by city employees in every agency.
The cost of maintaining those vehicles and keeping them out on the street is enormous, roughly $600 million per year.
As part of a larger consolidation effort within city government, the number of repair facilities has now been reduced from 47 to 37 locations, a reduction of 21 percent.
"I'm happy to announce the steps we've taken have already saved our city something like $240 million in fleet costs. The number will swell to over $415 million in savings by fiscal year 2016," Bloomberg said.
With the cooperation of 10 agencies, six vendors and three unions, the city began looking at ways to combine services and reduce costs. Vehicles, while essential, are also costly.
"Everything depends on the fleet. Fleet operations while somewhat out of view, are the core operations that keep our city services running," said Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman.
The city currently maintains a fleet of 25,000 vehicles. However those numbers are going to be further reduced as city employees start using more zip cars.
"Not only are we using Zipcars which reduce the number of cars we have to have. We are going to use their technology to manage the cars we do have. So you as a city employee normally entitled to a car aren't going to get a car anymore. You go on a computer, they tell you where to pick it up and you'll have your key and it will only work for you at that point in time. That saves a tremendous amount of money," Bloomberg said.
Zipcars will be subbed in for general purpose, non-emergency vehicles. The rental service is making its vehicles available at a cost of just $5 per hour for city workers, a significant discount from what regular customers pay.
The city fleet will soon move to adopt Zipcar's model of renting cars for specified periods of time.