MARTINEZ, CA - Budget cuts in Contra Costa County have led to reduced use of county vehicles. Vehicles traveled 2,459,597 fewer miles last year, a decrease of nearly 21 percent from the year before, board of supervisors President Susan Bonilla said.

In the 2008-09 fiscal year, the fleet clocked 11,847,116 miles. In 2009-10, that fell to 9,387,519, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Based on an average of 20 miles per gallon and a gas price of $3 per gallon, that translates into approximately $369,000 saved, according to county fleet manager Rick Ranger.

In addition to reducing mileage, county vehicles are now being serviced every six months or 6,000 miles, rather than every 4,000 miles.

Ranger said departments have been scaling back the use of vehicles to help save money. Many departments have rescinded the use of take-home vehicles or returned underutilized vehicles to the County.

Ranger said on-call workers are still issued take-home vehicles, according to the newspaper.