Winning Time for Fleet & Friends
By Mahanth Joishy, Fleet Superintendent
Happy new year! 2022 was a challenging year on many counts. But for now, we can enjoy a look back at a few milestones reached in 2022 on the strong foundation of our alliances:
- United Nations affiliated global NGO Together for Safer Roads recognized Madison with its Fleet Advocacy Award at TSR’s international Annual Stakeholders Meeting in New York City, primarily for the work of Madison Vision Zero launched in 2020, that has already saved lives.
- Fleet HQ on Nakoosa Trail was named the #3 Greenest Garage in North America in December 2022.
- Fleet HQ on Nakoosa Trail was also the first-ever municipal auto garage in North America to be certified LEED GOLD in North America by US Green Business Council this year.
- At Government Fleet Expo (GFX) in Detroit, Fleet was named the #19 Government Fleet among 38,000 eligible teams in North America. This is likely the only time Madison has cracked the top 20.
- Clean Fuels Alliance America recognized Fleet with its Biodiesel Inspiration Award in January 2022 to kick off the year right.
- First-ever EV fire truck placed into operational service in North America, the Pierce Volterra named Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin for 2022
2022 was by far the best year City of Madison Fleet has ever had for external recognition- and a culmination of years of dogged change management work. It is important first and foremost to give credit where it’s due to explain how we got so much international attention from awards committees. Madison is now firmly in the global vanguard of the transportation field and will remain so. Our customer agencies, our awesome Madison community, and our industrious workers deserve nothing less.
It boils down to one word: ALLIANCES. Alliances with our internal sister City agencies, and alliances with partner groups outside of our City government have turbocharged our work and cemented our legacy. We are very grateful for and proud of our partners.
Partners who most deserve our shout-outs are City of Madison Mayor’s Office, Human Resources, Fire, Engineering, and Streets among others. Externally, we have formed robust partnerships with NYC Fleet, Renewable Energy Group, MG&E, Alliant Energy, Wisconsin Clean Cities coalition, Clean Fuels Alliance America, Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, Together for Safer Roads, Pierce- and so many more we can’t name them all here.
Why is bringing these fleet/transportation international awards (unexpectedly to most observers) home to Wisconsin where they belong, so important? They give us a morale boost during tough times. Critically, we recognize that as the 80th or so biggest city in the United States, we’ll have minimal impact unless we are a visible, scalable, and replicable model for other fleets, other communities, and other individuals here in Madison, across the country, and around the world. The substantial networking and marketing we do to help other jurisdictions follow our lead and the recognition for it go hand in hand to make us a global model and force multiplier for good to tackle mankind’s most intractable problems.
We have announced publicly that we’re gunning to be the first large municipal fleet in the world to eliminate fossil fuels from our operations, in a city where, finally, nobody ever again gruesomely dies on our roads due to traffic fatality. 2030 is our ambitious deadline for both goals, which we’ll reach only if our foot is firmly on the pedal every single day, right now, right here through the next 8 years. To get there all of us including me need to work much harder and with more sense of urgency on these goals than we have shown so far if we want to have a shot at either.
Fleet today is a worldwide industry leader in partnership, supporting the domestic economy and local economy, EVs, hybrids, biofuels, soybean oil tires, sustainable building technology, data management, supply chain and logistics, auto repair cost efficiency, youth apprenticeships, GPS/telematics, and vehicle safety. Professionals from around the world are knocking on our door to learn more about what we do. The human resources on our team and our partner groups are our secret sauce, unrivalled anywhere in the fleet industry, public or private. That’s why I am here, and how we arrive to this special place and time.
Yet we are only at the very beginning of our journey. I can’t even imagine the heights we’re about to reach next.