ROCHESTER, NY – Mayor Robert Duffy recently turned in his city-issued Chevy Trailblazer and said he plans to cut the remaining fleet of employee take-home vehicles by up to 90 percent.

Most of the 177 take-home cars and SUVs are assigned to police, and nearly all are tied up in labor agreements as employee benefits, according to

Duffy has set a Sept. 8 deadline to finalize a plan for making the cuts. In some cases, city workers will have to drive their own cars and be reimbursed for mileage, as Duffy will do. He is now paying out of pocket to lease and insure his own SUV, saving the city at least 5.5 cents per mile.

Other options are to expand vehicle pools for employee use while on the job or to give workers a vehicle allowance. City officials don’t know how many cars will be sidelined or sold at auction, so they cannot project the savings.

The action is part of an effort to cut city fleet expenses. The cost of gas is estimated to exceed $5 million for all city cars and trucks in 2008-09.

Past union objections included that city workers wouldn’t want two-way radios and other equipment installed in their vehicles and that public safety officials would have to swing by the station to switch cars when called out from home.