Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel said the city operates too many government vehicles and uses too much fuel, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Emanuel said he would save at least $5 million during his first year in office as mayor by purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles and encouraging city employees to share cars, take bicycles and use mass transit.
He spoke to reporters at Hollub Heating, a company that has converted its fleet to trucks that burn natural gas. Emanuel, the former chief of staff for the Obama administration, added that he used to use mass transit to travel to and from Washington. He plans to continue periodically to take mass transit, walk and ride a bicycle.
Chicago taxpayers spend $135 million each year to maintain and fuel the city's non-emergency fleet. Over the years, Mayor Daley has lowered the number of take-home vehicles and implemented a system requiring more than 100 city managers to share leasing, insurance and maintenance costs and pay for their own fuel.
Emanuel said that in his first 120 days in office he would order an inventory of vehicles to determine the age and fuel efficiency of all non-emergency vehicles. He would then increase the annual switch to hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles to 20 percent in 2011. He would reduce work-related trips and miles traveled by city employees by 10 percent within his first two years in office. Ten percent of those trips would switch to car-sharing, bikes and mass transit. City employees would also undergo mandatory training in energy-efficient driving during Emanuel's first year in office.