Thanks to smart decisions and advanced technology, the City of Minneapolis now uses fewer vehicles in smarter ways, and also has been able to cut costs to taxpayers and reduce air pollution.
In Minneapolis over the last few months the Mayor and City Fleet Managers have been working together to create a "Green Fleet" strategy. Now is their chance to implement it, as the Mayor and the City have just gotten voter approval to move forward with their all new Green Fleet Policy. A Green Fleet Policy works by increasing fleet sustainability and reducing cost to taxpayers.
City Fleet Management reported that the new Green Fleet Policy has already helped the city to reduce gas consumption in city vehicles and equipment by 6 percent from 2008 - 2010; reduce the size of the fleet by 75 vehicles since 2008; improve fleet fuel efficiency by purchasing 324 alternative or hybrid vehicles; retrofitted large fuel guzzling vehicles to reduce vehicle emissions (paid for a Federal Grant).
According to the city of Minneapolis, vehicles are the largest contributor of air pollution, which is linked to increased rates of cancer, heart and lung disease, asthma and allergies. Carbon dioxide in car exhaust has also been blamed as one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases linked to climate change.
Many drivers do not realize how much gas idling wastes. Idling gets a driver nowhere, yet it burns fuel and creates unnecessary air pollution. Exhaust from an idling car is more dangerous than exhaust from a moving car because exhaust from an idling vehicle carries a higher load of pollutants. Drivers can make a big impact by changing their driver habits. Minneapolis City regulations prohibit most vehicles from idling for more than three minutes.If you see a vehicle idling for more than a few minutes, the city says you should call 311 to report the driver.
City officials said they are using a fleet GPS tracking system to reduce the short-term and long-term costs of owning and operating City vehicles. Also the GPS tracking system is helping the City to reduce vehicle idling, because 10 seconds of idling generally uses more fuel than restarting the car and produces more pollutants.
Vehicle tracking solutions can improve government fleet metrics. Fleet tracking system users consistently report greater on-time arrivals, increased productivity and lower total operating expenses. A modern, telematics-based GPS vehicle tracking system can help fleets to cut costs, increase workforce productivity, improve customer service, stop wasteful driving habits and reduce harmful vehicle emissions.
Codi David, Green Fleet Management and Vehicle Tracking Professional