Article

Edmonton's Program for Transformation: Working Together for Positive Changes

November 2012, Government Fleet - Feature

by Shelley Mika - Also by this author

The City of Edmonton's fleet staff is what makes its Fleet Services Branch one of the best in North America. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.
The City of Edmonton's fleet staff is what makes its Fleet Services Branch one of the best in North America. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.
At a Glance

At the Edmonton, Alberta, Fleet Services branch, workplace benefits include:

  • Leadership training for supervisors and foremen.
  • Numerous fleet-related technical, safety, and operational training hours to maintain and upgrade staff technical skills.
  • Workplace culture surveys with results that directly lead to workplace changes.


Comprised of 4,742 units, the City of Edmonton’s Fleet Services Branch in Alberta is the largest integrated municipal fleet operation in Canada, according to the branch. With 15 maintenance facilities, it serves 34 departments/branches, working to ensure all units are well maintained, equipped, safe, and available for use on a daily basis.

Earning Impressive Accomplishments

While the fleet’s size and scope is one thing, there are a number of other reasons it has earned a spot among the Top 20 of North America’s 100 Best Fleets in 2012. Over the last few years, the fleet has made major transformations — and has achieved numerous accomplishments as a result of its efforts.  

To name a few, the fleet has:

● Achieved environmental stewardship and 100% environmental regulatory compliance.
● Worked with clients to reduce City rental fleet expenditures by $1.38 million.
● Implemented a fleet management information system (FMIS) with an initial investment of $7.5 million.
● Improved the time it takes to perform bus mechanical and body midlife refurbishments by 19%.
● Reduced overtime by 39% over 2011.

● Improved heavy truck fleet downtime by 29% through redesign of shifts and production line management to increase client fleet availability.

While Edmonton’s Fleet Services Branch has much to be proud of, its focus on employees and workplace culture may be the branch’s most significant achievement to date.

Transforming the Workplace

Rapanos. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.
Rapanos. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.
Without the people who make up Fleet Services, the branch could never achieve so many milestones. “Our staff of 723 are very knowledgeable, proficient, and proud of the work they do,” Branch Manager Steve Rapanos said. “They develop innovative solutions to complex mechanical, fabrication, and engineering challenges.” Branch personnel, divided into six sections, are the City’s experts in all things fleet-­related, such as procurement, maintenance and repair, engineering, fuel management, safety, and administration.

With the level of value Fleet Services staff provides, the City has made a conscious investment in developing, training, and protecting its people. The fleet makes it a point to consistently recognize staff for length of service, educational achievements, commitment to safety, innovation, and leadership in service. It also offers leadership training for supervisors and foremen to promote professional growth, while helping the leadership team create action plans for accomplishing goals.

Edmonton fleet staff at work. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.
Edmonton fleet staff at work. Photo courtesy of the City of Edmonton.

In 2012, the branch is on track to complete 18,128 personnel hours in fleet-­related technical, safety, and operational training to maintain and upgrade staff technical skills. “Training is key to a diverse fleet services operation like ours. Employees need the best knowledge and resources available to be productive and successful in their work while maintaining such a diverse fleet,” Rapanos explained. “Our clients are also attracted to having the newest units and technologies, so we have to keep up with the latest maintenance techniques.”

Safety is a top priority at the City. Fleet Services provides user departments with proactive and preventive fleet safety programs, with the goal of increasing safety for all City drivers, and offers workplace safety training for all branch employees. “Our branch has reduced lost-time frequency by 18% and lost-time severity by 83% through training with an emphasis on the proper procedures while on the job and what to do in the event of an injury,” Rapanos said.

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