Mayor Adams Aims to Minimize City Vehicles that Create Gridlock Citywide
By Yehudit Garmaise
Could Mayor Eric Adams be taking the necessary steps to run New York City more efficiently?
Just as Mayor Adams is deploying the city’s police officers more effectively by taking them off desk duties that can be accomplished by civilians who receive lower salaries and reassigning them to understaffed patrols, such as the subways, he also wants to greatly reduce the city’s fleet of nearly 30,000 down to its “bare-bones minimum.”
“It is unimaginable that we have so many city vehicles,” said Mayor Adams, who added that he would like to get fleet levels back to what they were under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, when 25,855 city vehicles were on city streets in 2013, Bloomberg’s final year in office.
Despite former the urgings of former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who often said that he would not use a car after he left office, that New Yorkers should ditch their cars, “reduce emissions,” and “break their addiction to fossil fuels,” the city’s fleet of wheels numbered 29,718 sedans, SUVs, police cars, and garbage, as of last July 2021, the New York Post reported.
Included in that number are 2,857 cars, filled with gas and usually stocked with free tolls, that are often made available to city employees, and “it’s a benefit that has historically led to widespread misuse,” reported the Post, which added that in 2013, under Mayor Bloomberg, a significantly lower number of 2,499 take-home city cars were cruising city streets.
While congestion pricing was one solution that was often proposed to reduce traffic during de Blasio’s administration, in the which a record high 31,150 city vehicles were on city streets in 2019, before transportation advocates urged him to reduce them, Adams simply wants to take steps to reduce the number of cars on the road: starting with city employees.
“The city must make better use of our subway and buses, and it is time that City Hall led by example,” said Mayor Adams, who biked at least once and has hopped on the subway practically every day of his first two weeks in office.
Likewise, city workers should also use mass transit and “ride-sharing” vehicle programs, explained the mayor, who believes the city could trim 50% to 70% of the thousands of vehicles its staffers use to travel throughout the gridlocked city.