MONTPELIER, VT – After years of allowing each arm of state government to buy and maintain its own vehicles, Gov. Douglas' administration is consolidating management of most of the 1,088 state-owned vehicles in the Department of Buildings and General Services, according to the Associated Press.

Buildings Commissioner Tom Torti said the switch will reduce the environmental impact of state government through the use of more fuel-efficient and hybrid-fuel vehicles, save taxpayers money through bulk purchases and the selection of no-frills models, and provide workers with safe, properly maintained vehicles.

The department also will increase the size of the fleet, having spent $1.5 million to buy 25 electric/gasoline Honda Civics, 50 Ford Focus sedans, and 25 Ford Focus station wagons.

State officials plan to promote the use of fleet vehicles to save money and reduce the wear and tear on employees' personal cars and trucks. The new fleet program also will provide vehicles for employees who make only occasional business trips.