The City of Rochester, N.Y., is installing automated vehicle locator devices (AVLs) in its 474 public works vehicles. The City has a fleet of approximately 1,300 vehicles, of which a selection are emergency response vehicles used by the City’s police and fire departments. Government Fleet spoke with Michael Quattrone, assistant director for the City’s Bureau of Operations & Parks, about the new system and how it will help the City better manage its fleet.
The key benefits for Rochester’s public works vehicles, according to Quattrone, involve optimizing routing and dispatch, reducing the total number of vehicle miles traveled, which reduces fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing safety and security for vehicle operators, and improving safety and reliability when traveling in winter weather conditions.
“Analysis of operational factors will help to adjust for better customer service,” Quattrone said. “AVL will enable more informed decisions regarding dispatching of vehicles to service customers in a more expedient and efficient manner.”
Quattrone said although the City can’t yet know what kind of ROI the system will actually produce, he said the City has studied its potential benefits.
“Though there is no way to estimate possible savings derived from implementation of the entire AVL program at this time, a study was conducted for DES Operations in 2009 which estimated the reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and associated emissions resulting from implementation of AVL in the City public works fleet,” he said. “We will continue to monitor Operations once the system in phased into the fleet. With the first phase being snow and Ice control we will also be monitoring the salt usage for additional savings.”
The City said the vendor plans begin installation of the devices and the software system in mid-February. Quattrone said the City decided to work with a local company called Reltronics after an in-depth review process.
With the implementation process about to begin, the City is still working out the details as to how training will work and who specifically will have access, but Quattrone was able to provide some details.
“The system will be Web-based, and supervisors and dispatchers, for example, will have access but there will be different levels of access,” he said.
By Greg Basich