The City of Ventura is adding 18 more GPS tracking units to its fleet to reduce idle time to achieve greater fuel efficiency and overall reduced exhaust emissions. So far, the city has installed 69 units in the Public Works, Ventura Water, and Community Development department vehicles.
The city chose Verizon Networkfleet as the telematics provider after testing the GPS systems in seven of its fleet vehicles. Although the annual savings aren’t as large as the initial savings, the indirect costs are significant.
“The indirect savings comes from notifying us about potential problems in the vehicles," said Mary Joyce Ivers, fleet and facilities manager, City of Ventura Public Works. "If there is a problem with the vehicle we are informed so we can get it serviced immediately."
With remote diagnostic monitoring, the vehicle repair costs have lowered greatly. Ivers says reports such as these also improve driver safety. “It’s a good tool to have for them because they go out to various sites independently,” said Ivers. “One of our vehicles was stolen last year.”
Other benefits include improved vehicle routing efficiencies, reduced maintenance costs and increased staff productivity.
“At first my team thought we were just trying to monitor minutes, but we just had to explain all of the other benefits,” said Ivers. “It really helps with accountability, when we get complaints from citizens. We can verify that it wasn’t a city vehicle.”
Ivers says the tool is also good to continually help reeducate drivers.
Since implementing several initiatives to reduce the city’s ecological footprint, Ventura saw a 7,000 ton reduction of carbon, which is the equivalent as removing 1,375 vehicles per year from its streets, according to Verizon.
By Becky May