Brown says 3,800 vehicles cut, $16.4 million net

Gov. Jerry Brown said today that his January executive order to purge unnecessary vehicles has already cut the state’s fleet by 3,800, which is expected to save $11.4 million next year and bring in $5 million from auction revenue.

The cuts made so far account for almost 70 percent of the state’s 5,500 vehicle-reduction goal, Brown said, and deeper cuts will continue as the state eliminates more unnecessary vehicles across every department.

(UPDATE @ 5 P.M.: The governor’s office just issued a correction, clarifying that the reduction announced today meets about 32 percent of the state’s goal to reduce passenger vehicles; the previous announcement incorrectly combined passenger and non-passenger vehicles in the total.)

“Significant progress has been made, but we are not done yet,” he said in a news release. “I’m not satisfied with purging just 3,800 vehicles—state departments can make deeper cuts. Every department must eliminate the unnecessary vehicles that waste taxpayer money. There is no excuse for an excessive state fleet.”

The Department of General Services is prepared to begin holding auctions this fall.

Here are the departments that saw the largest numbers of vehicles cut:

  • Department of Transportation (Caltrans) – 926
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation – 795
  • California State Parks – 388
  • California Highway Patrol – 322
  • Department of Fish & Game – 251
  • CAL FIRE – 234
  • Department of Water Resources – 204
  • Department of Food & Agriculture – 111
  • Brown’s office said that, on average, a state vehicle remains useful for five years and costs $3,000 per year in maintenance, insurance and depreciation costs; that would mean these reductions could save the state up to $57 million over five years.

    The Department of General Services will examine its need for vehicles going forward, including reviews of how, when and why vehicles are used and helping departments implement more practical and cost-effective plans for the number and type of vehicles they need to do their jobs.

    The state also has eliminated more than 600 vehicle home-storage permits that it found to be nonessential or cost ineffective; the Department of General Services expects to eliminate hundreds more.

    Josh Richman

    Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.