Yonkers city employees participate in the city's pilot EcoDriving Training Program. Photo via City of Yonkers.

Yonkers city employees participate in the city's pilot EcoDriving Training Program. Photo via City of Yonkers.

The City of Yonkers, N.Y., is conducting a EcoDriving Training Program for city employees in an effort to reduce fuel use.

The city will host two half-day driver training workshops at city hall. Three instructors will provide 12 city employees with instruction on advanced efficient driving techniques that city officials hopes will reduce fuel use by up to 25%.

"These EcoDriving workshops are an exciting opportunity to demonstrate that small changes in driver behavior can lead to big savings at the gas pump," said Mayor Mike Spano. "The techniques can be used anywhere by anyone, so it’s not only going to cut the city's fuel bill, it's also going to help our employees to save money and improve air quality in their daily lives."

The city spends $1.5 million annually on fuel for the city's fleet. This training program aims to save taxpayer dollars, reduce vehicle emissions, and increase roadway safety. The target for the training is city staff whose job responsibilities involve a significant amount of time behind the wheel, including Parks and Public Works staff, Office for the Aging van drivers, building inspectors, and fleet managers.

Instructors will teach techniques such as keeping the vehicle moving forward and maintaining momentum for as long and efficiently as possible. Any time a driver takes their foot off the gas pedal or hits the breaks, the harnessed energy built up in the vehicle is destroyed. Rebuilding energy, speed, and momentum requires additional acceleration, which correspondingly uses more fuel.

The training will take the participant through all aspects of momentum management including the fundamentals of idling, acceleration and shifting, speed, cruising, coasting, and braking.

The workshops will be led by EcoDriving Solutions trainers who are trained and certified as master ecodriving instructors. The city is also working with Metropool, which provides transportation programs.

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