PITTSBURGH - In order to begin a fleet consolidation process, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has asked City Council to extend its contract with Cincinnati-based First Vehicle Services up to six months so it ends when Allegheny County's separate contract with First Vehicle ends, according to WDUQ News.

City Councilman Bill Peduto held a post-agenda meeting May 3.

WDUQ reported three bidders submitted proposals to manage both the city and county vehicle fleets. Peduto says the process must be thorough from purchasing through parts, repair, and preventive maintenance to get the maximum benefits.

On that larger scale, he says it may make sense to bring the operations in-house and to extend them to schools and other municipalities so they too could take advantage of the cost savings. The overall goals he thinks council members share are service, dependability, and safety with maximum efficiency, reported WDUQ.

Under Act 47, the City had to put fleet management, which had been in-house, up for bids, and First Vehicle took over in 2005. (Garbage services were also put out for bids, but the in-house service was low bidder, according to Peduto, as reported by WDUQ.)

In January, City Controller Michael Lamb's audit of First Vehicle's fleet management showed rising costs and problems with preventive maintenance and turn-around time for repairs. He suggested investigating bringing the services in-house, WDUQ reported.