SAN DIEGO – Transit fleets can reduce fuel consumption, on average, as much as 18.7 percent by engaging in fuel-efficient, eco-driving best practices, according to the results of a public transit fuel efficiency study conducted by SmartDrive Systems.

SmartDrive estimated an annual average fuel savings of $3,392 per vehicle.

“With the volatility of fuel prices, reducing fuel consumption is increasingly important in controlling operating expenses for public transit fleets,” noted SmartDrive President Jason Palmer. “Our study documented a significant opportunity to increase fuel efficiency by addressing the 84.8 percent of fuel waste that can be improved through softer driving. The study also shows that training and real-time in-cab feedback combine to dramatically lower the incidence of wasteful maneuvers."

The study evaluated several hundred transit buses and drivers in multiple U.S. locations to assess the effect of driving performance on fuel consumption and determine the impact of training and in-vehicle instant feedback on improving fuel economy. Study data was compiled by SmartDrive sensors and recorders, then analyzed and training recommendations provided. Real-time in-vehicle feedback on driving maneuvers and idling gave drivers the ability to adjust driving performance as it happened. Post-training performance was measured showing substantial reductions in the number and severity of hard accelerations, hard decelerations and hard turns.

“Within one month, the top 25 percent of drivers improved their fuel economy from 3.87 mpg to 4.59 mpg, or 18.7 percent. That’s a real savings that any transit fleet operator would appreciate,” Palmer added.

The SmartDrive Public Transit Fuel Efficiency Study is available at