SAN MARCOS, TEXAS - A partnership of City of San Marcos officials, business leaders, and graduate students at Texas State University is resulting in efficiency recommendations to improve management of city fleet vehicles.

Right-sizing the fleet, one of the task force's suggestions based on findings from MBA students at Texas State University, resulted in more than 20 vehicles either transferred or eliminated in the summer of 2008, providing an annual savings of $135,350.

Other recommendations to improve operations of the City's fleet of vehicles include using best practices in fleet management, partnering with other governmental entities on fuel services to save money, and investigating the use of global positioning systems (GPS).

Suggestions for more efficient fleet management included developing an effective multi-year replacement plan, continue the current maintenance program supported by the latest technological advancements, and continuing to analyze alternative energy vehicles and fuel sources.

The task force is co-chaired by Mayor Pro Tem Pam Couch and Council Member Fred Terry. Business leaders include John Meeks, senior vice president of Corporate Development for McCoy's; Sue Hardin, CPA, of Robenett & Co., LP; Earl Studdard of North Carolina Furniture; and John Campsmith, general manager of Phillips/Genlyte, who are led by City Manager Rick Menchaca.

The study also found the City spends more than $500,000 annually on fuel each year. The task force recommended investigating potential partnerships with county, university, and school districts to share fuel service options and investigate interlocal agreements. Using GPS devices would enable the City to track locations of city vehicles to streamline dispatch service and improve response time, receive alerts for excessive speed, idling and unauthorized vehicle use, and provide data on vehicle movement and engine usage data for preventative maintenance.