Mayor Bill de Blasio and DCAS Announce New Steps in Safety and Sustainability at 28th Annual NYC Fleet Show at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

May 12, 2016

Cutting-edge measures include installing life-saving truck side guards and banning hands-free phone devices except for emergencies 

New electric car initiative will help City's fleet achieve goal of reducing municipal fleet emissions 50 percent by 2025

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Lisette Camilo today announced new steps to further safety and sustainability for the City’s fleet, including life-saving truck side guards. 

The measures were unveiled at today's City Fleet and Equipment Show in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. New York City operates the largest municipal fleet in the United States with over 28,000 units. NYC Fleet has played an important role in Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero and NYC Clean Fleet initiatives and has been nationally recognized for its fleet leadership.

“Once again New York City is leading by example, this time introducing cutting-edge measures to boost safety and sustainability for the largest fleet in the nation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These progressive requirements will ensure that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike will be safer on our streets, all while decreasing the city’s carbon emissions footprint.”

Among today’s announcements:

  • New York City will bar the use of hands-free phone devices by City fleet operators, except for emergency responders. Currently, New York State law prohibits vehicle operation while using a cell phone or texting, but offers an exemption for the use of hands-free devices. As part of its review of driver practices through Vision Zero, DCAS has concluded that the use of hands-free devices can lead to equally dangerous levels of distraction as non-hands free devices. Current research in the field supports this position.
  • New York City Fleet has now installed life-saving truck side guards on 370 City trucks, with 650 installs to be completed by the end of FY17, making it the largest rollout of this technology in the United States so far. The Initiative was also recognized for its technology transfer at the Federal Laboratory Consortium in Chicago last week.
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    • New York City Fleet has also partnered with Action Carting and Fresh Direct to share this life-saving technology with these private companies.
  • New York City Fleet is also announcing additional steps in pursuit of the Mayor’s NYC Clean Fleet initiative. In December 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced NYC Clean Fleet, which calls for the City to implement at least 2,000 electric cars, making the largest municipal electric vehicle fleet in the country, and to reduce fleet emissions by 50 percent by 2025.
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    • The first new orders for 225 electric fleet units are in place – including 185 new electric cars. They are expected to be delivered by June 30, 2016. (Some of the units will be at the fleet show.)
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    • In FY17, all cars purchased by the City will be plug in electric units, excluding emergency services.
  • The City is also expanding its use of diesel alternatives including biodiesel. New York City is already one of the world’s leaders in biodiesel implementation, with all fleet units using either 5 percent or 20 percent blends for diesel fleet units.
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    • NYPD is now taking an additional step forward in this effort, doubling its biodiesel use from 5 percent to 10 percent biodiesel blends.

In December 2015, DCAS issued an RFI to solicit ideas and proposals for advancing our NYC Clean Fleet initiative. The response from industry was extensive with over 77 formal responders and 30 other companies also engaging in less formal ways. Many of these vendors will be at the Fleet Show today, discussing the latest in alternative fuel technologies including electric vehicles, hybrid trucks, natural gas units, hydrogen and solar units, and renewable diesels. In total, over 16,000 fleet units operate on some type of alternative fuel.

“New York City operates one of the largest fleets in the United States and we are committed to working with our agency partners to establish the safest and greenest fleet in the nation. Today’s steps will further that effort,” said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo.

“New York City operates almost every type of alternative in the transport sector including electric, hybrid, natural gas, biodiesel, shared units and even solar,” said City Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman. “We are early adopters helping to establish the effectiveness of these alternatives in every type of fleet service.”

The City has hosted a Fleet and Equipment Show for 28 years. The Show is a partnership between DCAS and Parks and offers over 160 vendors with the latest in safe and sustainable fleet and equipment technologies, as well as tools and workplace equipment. The show is free and runs from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Thursday, May 12 at the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The non-profit group Empire Clean Cities, which focuses on fleet sustainability, also hosts their annual stakeholder meeting at the show.

"Climate change will continue to require smart actions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions," said Daniel Zarrilli, ‎New York City's Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs. "That's why today's announcement of a cleaner, safer fleet is so critical to our OneNYC efforts and puts us on the path to having the largest municipal EV fleet in the country."

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Council Environmental Protection, said, "The new electric cars set to be used in our city's fleet will help make us the municipality with the largest electric vehicle fleet in the nation and will make our city more sustainable. Expanding our use of biodiesel in NYPD vehicles will also reduce pollution and improve our air quality. These sustainable habits will bring us closer toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 and continue to make our city a leader in green energy. I thank Mayor de Blasio and DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo for their bold vision."

“I am happy to see the Mayor taking leadership to make NYC’s vehicle fleet the most environmentally friendly and safe in the nation. I encourage community members to visit Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to learn about these new measures. As a City we must take the lead to ensure that we perform our functions as sustainably as possible,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.

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