City fleet is driving up costs

    To buy or to lease? That was the question about the city fleet that officials debated during city council budget hearings yesterday.

    To buy or to lease? That was the question about the city fleet that officials debated during city council budget hearings yesterday.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090427tmcars.mp3]

    Philadelphia doesn’t lease cars as a matter of policy. The city buys cars, and resells them when they get too old. Councilman Bill Green says the city needs to think about leasing cars at least in the short term to help the city’s fiscal situation.

    Green: There’s a savings in the first few years because we are spending less general fund dollars in the acquisition and the total cost of the lease payments in the first year are going to be less.

    Green says the move would save money as older, less efficient vehicles get replaced with ones that get better gas mileage. Fleet manager James Muller says the city is considering car leases as part of the upcoming budget, and wants to hire a consultant to review the benefits of such a program.

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