Ventura Uses Telematics & GPS to Improve Fleet Efficiency
After implementing GPS and vehicle diagnostic technology on several fleet vehicles, the California city improved fuel economy by 10 percent, reduced idling time, and improved productivity and routing for customer service.
January 2011, Government Fleet - Feature
Mary Joyce Ivers (right), CPFP, fleet and facilities manager in the City of Ventura's Public Works department.
Located between Southern California cities Malibu and Santa Barbara on the Pacific Ocean, the City of Ventura provides a wide range of services to more than 109,000 residents. The City's operating philosophy not only embraces cost efficiencies, but also focuses on sustainability efforts.
In 2007, Ventura's City Council adopted the Green Initiative, the first of many steps toward the City's goal of becoming a national model for sustainability. Since its adoption, the City has completed a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, as well as joined the Sierra Club Cool Cities Program and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability (an association of more than 1,200 local government Members who are committed to sustainable development).
As part of its green initiative to become more environmentally friendly, the City partnered with Alert Communications in 2008 on a pilot program aimed at increasing fuel efficiency and reducing exhaust emissions in city vehicles. The City mounted specially equipped Networkfleet global positioning system (GPS) units it purchased from Alert Communications to diagnostic ports in seven of its fleet vehicles.
The Networkfleet device is connected to the Vehicle Harness connector in each vehicle. In addition to their remote mapping feature, the Web-based Networkfleet GPS units quickly pinpoint vehicles with excessive speeds or idle times, report potential diagnostic problems in vehicles, improve efficient routing of services to the community, and provide mileage/hour information that is used to notify users when vehicles are due for normal maintenance, thus reducing repair costs and vehicle downtime.
These technologies help the City meet its Safe Driving Policy, Fuel Conservation Plan, preventive maintenance schedule, no-idle policy, and the City's green initiatives to protect Ventura's environment.
The City operates a 425-vehicle fleet composed of a wide range of models, including Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, International, Sterling, Freightliner, Caterpillar, Onan, John Deere, Toro, Kubota models; BMW motorcycles; and Seagraves and Pierce fire apparatus. The City's Public Works, Police, and Fire departments utilize vehicles to service the public. Fleet Services' onsite garage maintains all city vehicles and equipment and maintains fueling sites.