Schwarzenegger Serious about Reducing Car Fleet. Whither Villaraigosa?

7_20_09_schwarzenegger.jpgPhoto: MSNBC

Anyone that has been reading LA Streetsblog for any period of time knows that we haven’t been shy about criticizing Governor Schwarzenegger for talking a good game about the environment but never asking Californians, including himself, to make any changes in their lives when it comes to transportation.

Well, this time we have to give the Governor his due.  The Times reported over the weekend that in response to a Caltrans report about waste, fraud and abuse in the state’s take-home car program for employees that the Governor is ordering a 15% reduction in the state’s take-home fleet.

“Today I am taking action to get rid of waste and abuse in the state’s vehicle fleet and ordering my administration to reduce the [entire] fleet by 15%, eliminate all wasteful home storage permits and sell surplus cars at our state garage sale next month,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

The fleet reduction will save at least $24.1 million the first year, according to the Department of General Services.

Of course, the state response to this Caltrans report shines a harsh light on Los Angeles’ less tough response to a similar report by then-Comptroller Laura Chick showed similar waste earlier this year.  Rather than cutting the fleet to a  more-manageable size, Villaraigosa declared he was “putting the brakes” on abuse by putting a freeze on permits for new staff members and required more paperwork before filling one’s tank for free at city pumps.

But let’s give credit where credit is due, congratulations to Governor Schwarzenegger for taking a stand to save taxpayers millions of dollars and engage in some good transportation policy at the same time.  Now if only we could get him to do something about his jet-commute from L.A. to Sacramento for work or his chauffeured trip across the street from the Capitol to a hotel across the street on days he stays in Sacramento.

  • DJB

    This is really an obvious move to make. The LA Times recently did an exposé on the amount of state money lawmakers are using for their car allowances, often to buy expensive, gas guzzling vehicles like Chevy Tahoe SUVs.

    This move is a drop in the bucket of the state’s money woes, but every little bit helps. We should be giving state workers transit passes or bikes, not cars. And if we do give them cars, they should be efficient, modestly priced cars, like the Prius.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Is State Wasting Money on Bloated Car Fleet? Gov. Orders Car Cuts.

|
In an effort to balance the state budget, Governor Jerry Brown ordered all state agencies to immediately review their policies towards owning vehicles on behalf of the state and policies allowing permits for take-home vehicles, which allow state employees to use state-owned passenger cars for their daily commute. If a permit is deemed non-essential, then […]

Governor Finds a New Way to Rob Transit Even More

|
Photo: Trinity County California Republican Party This morning when I saw the L.A. Times headline about new budget cuts announced by Governor Schwarzenegger, I wasn’t worried.  After all, I knew this time there wasn’t anything else he could do to damage transportation and transit.  How much more damage could be done after he abolished state […]

A First Look at 2008

|
I know, I’m behind on this one as well…Metro Rider has had their 2008 predictions parody up for a couple of days already. However, here are some of the stories that are going to be interesting to follow. 1) The Battle Between Locals and the City Over the Pico/Olympic Plan. Personally, I’m waiting for more […]

State of the State: Here Come Public-Private Partnerships

|
During his "State of the State" speech yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger didn’t spend too much time on transportation (and none on transportation reform). But what time he did spend shows how he’s planning on meeting our funding needs: public private partnerships. The Governor will be introducing legislation to make public-private partnerships (which for some reason he […]