City of Dallas GPS tracking system usage may increase to improve efficiency and reduce costs of city vehicle operations.
A US$ 0.09 per mile difference was found when comparing Dallas, Texas’ police fleet, which costs the city 29 cents per mile to operate compared with Phoenix, Arizona’s, which costs only 20 cents per mile. Considering the fact that the city of Dallas’ police fleet drives a total of 25 million miles per year, the cost of the extra 9 cents adds up.
The exact cause of the US$ 0.09 difference is yet unknown, but for the past year, city officials have been working to overhaul the management of their entire 5,130-unit inventory of police cars, garbage trucks, code-inspector vehicles and other equipment in an attempt to figure it out.
Mary Suhm, Dallas City Manager appointed a new Director to the city’s Equipment and Building Services Department to provide a fresh perspective to operations. Since the appointment, there has been a reorganization of the city’s Sanitation Fleet Management Division. The decision was made to install global positioning systems on all waste trucks to increase efficiency and decrease overtime and fuel costs by continuous tracking of how drivers manage their routes. Mary Nix, Dallas Sanitation Director said “There’s no way you can know where 16 guys are at one time without this kind of tool.”
The decision taken to employ a GPS tracking system on city waste trucks has produced savings for Dallas. The city paid nearly US$ 0.7 million for the three-year fleet management contract. So far, the system has paid for itself by generating US$ 0.7 million savings in overtime costs and US$ 0.2 million savings in fuel costs in just one year. An additional US$ 0.9 million in savings is expected over the life of the contract.
Noting the obvious benefits of the tracking system, Dallas Mayor, Tom Leppert has already suggested that other city departments may adopt the use of GPS systems.
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