One of the big-ticket costs for government agencies is their fleets of cars and trucks. With cost savings a priority, the General Services Administration, which manages more than 200,000 federal vehicles, announced plans Tuesday to pursue car-sharing much like the private-sector.
The agency issued a request for information asking private-sector companies for ideas that would allow federal agencies to use fewer government cars and more cars that they would rent for an hour or several hours to conduct their business.
While GSA manages 200,000 cars and trucks, other federal agencies that manage their own fleet own and maintain about 400,000 more vehicles.
GSA also plans to launch pilot-programs in Washington D.C., Boston, New York City and Chicago with Zipcar, Hertz and Enterprise, which are are already on the GSA schedule of vetted companies.
In a statement, Administrator Dan Tangherlini said the car-sharing program will drive down costs by reducing the need to buy new cars and trucks. And it would cut maintenance costs as well.
The federal government spends about $3 billion annually to buy, operate and maintain about 450,000 civilian and non-tactical military vehicles — excluding the U.S. Postal Service — the Government Accountability Office said in a report in July.