May 23, 2011
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spoke at a recent town hall meeting about the state’s fleet expenses. With fuel becoming more expensive, large fleets will see even bigger expense spikes than small commercial fleets. How much are you spending in a year?
New Jersey operates 9,082 fleet vehicles for a workforce of over 70,000 state employees, providing a vehicle for less than 10 percent of its total workforce. Of those, 1,205 are assigned exclusively to individual staff members for their constant use. The rest are used occasionally by staff as needed.
The state spent $16.4 million to fuel its vehicles in its fiscal 2010 budget.
The good news may be that the state has embarked on reducing the fleet in the past year. As of January 2010, the state used 9,617 vehicles. In the past 15 months, the state has cut 535 of them.
"When we drive for district business, we don't get reimbursed," said Assemblyman John Amodeo, R-Atlantic.
Pratt said the state decides to allow the use of a car based largely on cost-saving factors.
"It makes sense to provide employees with cars when an auto is essential to performing a job, and when the cost of reimbursing an employee for use of a private auto is higher than providing them with a car from the motor pool," he said.
Insuring employees for using their own cars when their work involves transporting other individuals, especially children, is more costly than designating a car for that purpose, he said.
"In all but a few circumstances, employees take cars home when it's less costly than having the state pay extra for parking or garage services," he said. "Even then, cars are not supposed to be used for anything but work-related activities."
[via Press of Atlantic City]