City car fleet may be reduced 20 percent 

The number of cars and trucks used by San Francisco workers could decrease by at least 20 percent within years under a plan from Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is looking to further cut costs and reduce carbon emissions.

The car fleet in San Francisco has long been criticized for being plagued by inefficiencies, abuse and waste. Newsom has taken a number of incremental steps over the years to transform the fleet into a greener operation with increased oversight of vehicle usage.

Newsom’s latest effort would require departments to reduce the number of passenger cars and trucks used by their employees by 20 percent — 5 percent annually — by 2014, according to legislation introduced to the Board of Supervisors.

“The more we can reduce our city fleet, the more we’ll save money, reduce congestion and cut local greenhouse gas emissions,” Newsom said. “This legislation will expand our efforts to further reduce our city fleet, reduce its size and encourage greater use of Muni and City CarShare whenever possible.”

The fleet reduction effort will also come with strict reporting and oversight. Each year, department heads would have to submit to the Board of Supervisors budget analyst a report detailing how they are complying with the mandate.

If a department head wishes to buy a new passenger car or truck, the purchase request will have to be accompanied by “a written explanation of how the requested purchase complies with The City’s Transit-First Policy.”
The legislation also requires the removal by 2014 of all vehicles that are 12 or more years old, which could be counted toward the 5 percent reduction requirement.

The City’s fleet has 1,591 passenger cars and a total of 2,697 vehicles, which include pickups and vans. With other types of equipment such as trailers and trucks, the fleet has an inventory of 6,881 vehicles or pieces of equipment. The City’s fleet, not including emergency response vehicles and equipment, has been reduced by nearly 17 percent in the last five years, the Mayor’s Office said in July.

In recent months, Newsom announced a partnership with City CarShare as an alternative to having to purchase new vehicles and be able to reduce San Francisco’s fleet size. Additionally, The City is rolling out new software that will track vehicles’ mileage, gas and time running.

The legislation requires approval by the Board of Supervisors to go into effect.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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