CAMDEN, NJ - The Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) board approved the creation of a new Fleet Management Department on September 15. The new department will result in the creation of two new staff positions, a director of fleet management and a fleet shop manager. The resolution is now being reviewed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, according to the DRPA, a regional transportation agency serving Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey.

The fleet management director and two fleet shop manager positions, as well as two office positions, will mostly be filled internally, resulting in an increase of only one employee, according to the resolution. If approved, DRPA expects the new department to be fully staffed by the first quarter of 2011.

The department will be part of Bridge Operations and was proposed following a fact-finding review of the fleet and its management. Previously, fleet vehicles were managed separately by bridge managers at their various locations.

The fleet management program began in September 2008, which resulted in fewer and smaller vehicles and the use of hybrids. This led to significantly reduced fuel consumption and a reduction of vehicle emissions. Vehicle idling time was reduced by using solar panels to run arrow boards. From September 2008 to April 2010, DRPA had saved $1.4 million in vehicle expenses, according to the release from DRPA.

Due to a new vehicle sharing policy, fleet size was reduced from 319 vehicles in 2008 to 274 vehicles in 2010. Vehicles include heavy equipment (sweepers and various trucks) and light-duty vehicles such as police cars and pick-up trucks. DRPA vehicles are maintained at four repair facility locations.