Government Fleet Top News

Municipal Departments Looking for Fuel Cost Savings

August 13, 2008

FRAMINGHAM, MA – Times may have caught up with the tradition of sending municipally owned vehicles home with employees, as rising fuel bills are forcing communities to eye more efficient vehicles and greater limits on their use.

In the City of Milford, officials are trying to cut about $20,000 about 10 percent from the town’s vehicle fuel bills, according to The Daily News. Ford Expeditions now used by the chiefs of Milford’s fire and police departments may be replaced with smaller cars. Those SUVs are used for work and daily commutes.

The Daily News collected data on nearly 200 municipally-owned vehicles that go home with workers in the area. More than half are trucks and SUVs that get fewer than 20 miles per gallon, based on fuel estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

In the City of Sudbury, officials will cut up to seven trucks now used for commuting by public works employees, said Assistant Town Manager Wayne Walker. The cuts will occur either next year or when workers leave their current jobs.

Sudbury is also trying a Ford Escape hybrid as a police cruiser, though it is only used when a regular vehicle is unavailable, he said.

City of Framingham lets 27 workers use its vehicles for daily commutes, a number that hasn’t risen since Town Manager Julian Suso was hired in 2006. Employees who drive town vehicles home are expected to respond 24 hours a day under a town policy, which also puts limits on how employees can use take-home vehicles.

Framingham, like other local communities, fuels take-home vehicles at municipal pumps.

 

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