CHICAGO – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is making good on his plans to overhaul the City’s fleet operations and reduce costs. In a letter, the Commissioner of the Consolidated Departments of General Services and Fleet Management David Reynolds informed those participating in the program that the City is ending its shared cost lease program on July 15, 2011.

The letter instructs all current City employees participating in the program to return their vehicles to one of the fleet management department’s facilities. The letter states that a “drastically reduced” version of this program may exist after July 15, but will only be for City employees who require a vehicle to respond to emergencies.

As alternatives to using this program, the City cited its agreement with car-sharing provider ZipCar, as well as the availability of departmental pool vehicles, as a way for City employees to use vehicles when needed. The letter states the City will pay the $10 application fee, $5 annual fee, and the $5.95 hourly fee for ZipCar use on City business.

The City has a program called FlexFleet, which costs nothing for City employees to use. It allows City employees to reserve City-owned pool vehicles. Currently the program has 100 enrolled participants but has a goal of enrolling at least 500 participants.  

In another letter to the Department of Fleet Management, Reynolds instructs department personnell to fill out take-home authorization forms for all vehicles in the department. It also states that take-home use of vehicles will be at the discretion of the Chief of Staff in consultation with the Director of the Office of Budget and Management, and the Commissioner of the Department of Fleet Management. All vehicles granted take-home use status will have GPS units installed.

By Greg Basich