Fleet employees

Today we will officially cut the ribbon on Madison Fleet’s Nakoosa Trail facility! Completed during the pandemic, this facility centralizes services from multiple other sites and is already increasing the efficiency of our services. The building is designed with the health of our employees in mind – most notably, the air handling systems are designed to keep airflow in the mechanics’ workspaces at a healthy rate. This is also the most sustainable Fleet facility Madison has ever had – it is a LEED Gold certified building with five different types of solar, and efficient heating, cooling and lighting.

Sustainability is a theme for our Fleet Service – not only is the new building green, but it is supporting our efforts to diversify our fleet via Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle repair capability and 6 solar powered, off-grid EV charging stations. Since 2018, the City has added 63 electric vehicles (EVs) into the City fleet, along with 102 gas-electric hybrid vehicles, 6 new anti-idling ambulances, and a nationally leading biodiesel fuel program. Fleet also partnered with Madison Fire Department and Pierce Manufacturing to unveil the first and only EV fire truck in operation in all of North America.

These efforts have culminated in CO2 emissions reductions of about 5.5 million pounds and counting, while supporting the Wisconsin economy Wisconsin farmers. As part of my Climate Forward program, the goal is to run 100% of Madison’s fleet on EVs or 100% biodiesel by 2030, with substantially expanded solar EV charging capacity.

Fleet is greening their operations as well – they have eliminated 90% of paper processes in an ongoing bid for the agency to go entirely paperless for all operations. Every Fleet Technician has been assigned a tablet to give them computing power at their fingertips for the first time, including for email, diagnostics, Internet research, work order updates, and to take photos without logging in and out of shared workstations some distance from their bays. This initiative was in partnership with IT, and was profiled nationally.

We are working to encourage other communities and the private sector to follow our lead on green fleets. Our Fleet Service hosted, with Wisconsin Clean Cities and Alliant Energy, the Transportation & Innovation Expo, the largest collection of alternative fuel speakers and cutting-edge vehicles Wisconsin has ever seen. We’re also working with municipalities around Dane County through our Sustainable Leaders Collaborative to share best practices on Fleet and other sustainability topics.

Fleet has been working on maintaining a sustainable workforce as well. The Division kicked off a high school and technical college apprenticeship program, with 11 students matriculating so far to learn how to work on real city vehicles such as ambulances, police cars, and garbage trucks. The majority have been minorities or women, groups which are under-represented in the automotive industry. These hands-on lessons are taught by full-time mechanics who volunteer to be mentors. The goal is to hire some of these apprentices full-time starting next year.

Fleet employees

Last – but definitely not least – Fleet has been focused on safety. They’ve installed a top-shelf GPS/Telematics system to track and improve driver safety and sustainability metrics such as seat belt usage, speeding, hard braking, hard acceleration, and idling. They’ve been purchasing vehicle safety technology in all cases possible, such as backup and side view cameras, daytime running headlights, and Advanced Driver Alert Systems (ADAS). Beginning in summer 2021, a 2-hour Safe Driver training is being offered for all City employees. This is one of many initiatives that are part of Madison’s Vision Zero with other lead agency partners.

Vision Zero

As you can see, Madison’s Fleet Service has been busy! I hope you are able to join us for the grand opening and ribbon cutting at the City’s state-of-the-art Fleet Facility, 3:30 – 8:00 p.m., today (June 22), at its new location, 4151 Nakoosa Trail, Madison, Wis.

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