In an effort to save money and increase efficiency, city agencies adopted a tactic mastered by most first graders: sharing.
By consolidating operations for a massive fleet of more than 25,000 government vehicles, the city will save some $415 million by 2016, officials said Monday.
"It's unconventional wisdom and shows you what you can do if everybody works together," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a new NYPD garage in Washington Heights that also services vehicles from the Departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation.
Since 10 departments formed an interagency management group to coordinate fleet reductions in 2011, the number of dedicated fleet repair facilities in the city has been reduced from 47 to 37. As part of fleet consolidation efforts, some city workers will also be able to reserve unused vehicles online through a partnership with Zipcar.
The initiatives will save roughly $45 million a year and make the city more efficient, officials said at the garage.
The Department of Transportation ceded control of the service shop to the NYPD last year, making it easier for cops to do their jobs, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
"Because of the proximity of this shop to northern Manhattan and to the Bronx, we're able to get resources prepared, fixed more quickly and back out on the street," Kelly said.
Still, the shift wasn't easy.
"It was definitely a culture change in many ways," Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said.
In the last two years, Chief Citywide Fleet Officer Keith Kerman helped oversee315 interagency meetings to facilitate this process.
"Fleet is very sensitive among city agencies,"Kerman said. "Everyone likes their cars and trucks, nobody necessarily likes other agencies in that business."
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