If you only drove your vehicle three days a week, would you still keep it? Would you spend the time and money needed to maintain and repair the vehicle? Now imagine what you would do if you were in charge of a fleet of vehicles.
The Fleet Management Department is responsible for ensuring the City of Houston’s nearly 12,000 vehicles are working properly and efficiently. Fleet vehicles range from police squad cars, fire trucks, animal control vans, and many other service-related automobiles. We need a wide variety of vehicles to provide all the services the public expects from its city.
The problem is – how do we determine that a vehicle is being used enough to justify keeping it around. Over the last year, Fleet Management tackled the issue of underused vehicles and attempted to optimize our fleet levels. The number of vehicles in the City’s fleet decreased by 5% from the beginning of FY14 due in part to a consolidation of vehicles through fleet sharing programs and the Fleet Management Department working with City Departments to identify underused vehicles.
Vehicles that were underused were reassigned to replace older vehicles, and the City is pursuing an aggressive strategy to sell older vehicles that are no longer needed. The goal is to have a “fit fleet” that allows City employees to perform services necessary for public safety, health and quality of life.
Paul Fagin is a Staff Analyst for the City of Houston Finance Department and is a member of the Performance Improvement Division. Paul received his Master of Public Administration from Texas A&M University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin.