The City of Jersey City, N.J., is installing GPS tracking devices in 20 City-owned vehicles as part of a 30-day program. The City’s Mayor Steven Fulop said the City is installing the devices to improve accountability, reduce fuel use, and eliminate personal use of City-owned vehicles by employees.

Fulop said the second phase of the program, which the City has approved, will expand the program to 95 vehicles used by the City’s Public Works Department and eventually expand installation of the devices to the City’s police department and other departments.

The City is using the Silent Passenger GPS Fleet Management System from Vehicle Tracking Solutions. The system provides maps, supplied by Microsoft Bing, real-time traffic information, and turn-by-turn directions. The system tracks total drive time, vehicle stop time, the hours driven, the routes taken, and the idle time for the day, in addition to tracking a given vehicle’s location. The system can also send real-time email or text alerts and allows for customizable reports. Other features the Mayor’s office noted the City plans to make use of include geofences and a vehicle maintenance module, which monitors the schedule for oil changes, inspections, and other types of required preventive maintenance.

“Already this GPS program has helped eliminate wasteful vehicle idling times thereby reducing fuel consumption,” said Mayor Fulop. “It has also eliminated unauthorized stops and after-hour usage by city employees and has greatly improved productivity while creating efficiency and accountability throughout the Department of Public Works.”