The number of City of Toronto light-duty fleet vehicle that are underutilized has increased to 18 percent, up from 15 percent in 2017.
Using an annual threshold of 5,000 km or 125 engine hours, the City of Toronto auditor identified 230 vehicles in 2018 from 15 city divisions and one corporation that were underutilized.
The city paid $10 million to purchase these vehicles. Six divisions and one corporation, in particular, had a large percentage and number of underutilized vehicles.
The city reimburses staff who use their personal vehicles for work. The auditor found that the divisions and the corporation with large numbers of underutilized vehicles also paid a substantial amount in kilometer reimbursements. In 2018, the six divisions and one corporation paid $1.5 million in kilometer reimbursements; 92 staff were reimbursed for over 5,000 km, averaging $3,600 each.
The issue of underutilized vehicles is not new; the Toronto Auditor General has reported it on multiple occasions since 2004.
Over the past several years, Fleet Services has taken steps to analyze and identify underutilized vehicles, and share them with the operating divisions. However, the final decision of what to do with these vehicles has always remained within each division.
The auditor concluded that there is a need for stronger corporate oversight to ensure the most cost-effective fleet options are used across the city, and to maximize the use of car-sharing and pooling options, where feasible.