MIDLAND, TX – After a successful pilot program, Midland, Texas, city officials are considering purchasing vehicle monitoring devices that track the locations of city vehicles, according to the Website, www.mywesttexas.com. The system would be a first for Texas. The city recently completed a pilot program that began in September 2004 where 30 global positioning system (GPS) units were installed on a variety of vehicles, including two police patrol cars and one fire engine. The unit uses signals from satellites to record the distance, speed, and location a vehicle has traveled. An advantage of the device is that it accounts for the location of the vehicle. Jerry Lawrence, manager of the city's service center, likes the GPS device because it helps establish a track record detailing the vehicle's precise location, which is useful when citizens call in to report allegations of abuse of city vehicles. The pilot program included a comparison of mileage and gasoline consumption on the vehicles between September 2003 to March 2004 and September 2004 to March 2005. The results showed there was a 25 percent decrease, which indicated that the GPS devices are cost-effective.
Mike Joyce, fleet manager for Travis County, Texas, will retire on August 31 after serving in the role for more than 18 years.