The Elite Fleets are former No. 1 fleet operations in Government Fleet’s awards programs that continue to perform at a high level. Fleet managers of the Elite Fleets are often asked to judge awards.

Although they’ve been named as the top fleets, these operations haven’t stopped striving to improve their operations. This year’s Elite Fleets are working on improving parts room management, continuing fleet greening efforts, improving customer service, and streamlining operations, as well as other efforts that prove they’re industry leaders.

City of Troy, Mich., No. 1 in 2010

Initiative 1 - Succession Planning: The fleet is currently cross-training its staff to cover all positions, including supervisory positions, in fleet operations. This will help ensure the division will continue to operate efficiently during times of transition.

Initiative 2 - Streamlining Operations: Staff is determining ways to reduce repair time and cost of repair. The fleet handles in-sourced work for 15 surrounding agencies. By streamlining operations, the fleet operation has been able to handle the additional workload without hiring additional employees and has been able to maintain 98% vehicle availability within the city’s fleet and for outside customers.

Shows Leadership By: Bringing in more than $600,000 in additional outside revenue by contracting to repair the vehicles and equipment of 15 nearby agencies.

Key Stats:
Fleet size: 500 units
Staff: 17 full-time + 2 part-time
Maintenance facilities: 1 main + 1 satellite
Fueling sites: 2
Operating budget: $3.6 million
Capital budget: $1.8 million

City of Portland, Ore., No. 1 in 2011

Initiative 1 - Reviewing Policies: The fleet is working on the latest edition of its business plan. A fresh business plan is essential to communicate fleet services, goals, and performance measures, and provides a road map for future success.

Initiative 2 - Upgrading Fuel Management: The fleet is upgrading its fuel management system and its fuel station infrastructure. 

Shows Leadership By: Being the first fleet in the nation to be named a Fleet Masters operation by the Government Fleet Management Alliance (GFMA). The city fleet recently achieved Tier 5 CLEANFleet certification from the Coalition for Green Fleet Management, which certifies that the fleet operation is energy efficient and environmentally responsible. This, with the previously earned Certified Fleet Management Operation (CFMO) certification, makes Portland a Fleet Masters operation.

Key Stats:

Fleet Size: 2,450 on-road + 600 off-road
Staff: 78
Maintenance facilities: 7
Operating budget: $19.6 million
Fleet value: $115 million

City of Culver City, Calif., No. 1 in 2013

Initiative 1 - Renewing Customer Service Efforts: Fleet established new division liaisons within its customer departments, training them on the division’s approach to fleet management. Fleet also restructured customer surveys to make them easier and more concise.

Initiative 2 - Expanding the Green Fleet: Fleet is moving toward the electrification of its light-duty units and using more natural gas for medium- and heavy-duty units. 

Shows Leadership By: Leading and participating in a transit bus forum with several transit properties and manufacturers to discuss a regional approach of in-field charging for battery-electric transit buses. 

Key Stats:
Fleet size: 600 units; Staff: 41
Maintenance facilities: 1 main + 1 satellite
Fueling sites: 3, including 1 CNG
Operating budget: $8 million
Capital budget: $3.9 million

City of Mesa, Ariz., No. 1 in 2014

Initiative 1 - Expanding Consignment Inventory: The fleet is expanding its parts consignment program, where fleet maintains in-house staff, but enters into supply contracts that allow vendors to consign parts inventory to the city at reduced costs. This has reduced the city’s inventory handling costs.

Initiative 2 - Expanding the Green Fleet: The city reduced its carbon footprint by 1,497 metric tons from 2012 to 2014, representing a 6.5% decrease.

Shows Leadership By: Expanding the warranty recovery program to include not just OEM parts and service, but also stocked parts inventory. Fleet has recovered more than $3.5 million in the past three years.

Key Stats:
Fleet size: 2,000 units; Staff: 86
Maintenance facilities: 2
Operating budget: $33 million
Fueling sites: 7 gasoline/biodiesel + 2 CNG

About the author
Thi Dao

Thi Dao

Former Executive Editor

Thi is the former executive editor of Government Fleet magazine.

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