Will Car Sharing Replace Taking Cabs and Leasing Federal Vehicles?
The General Services Administration is pressing on with its three-year-old initiative to test technologies designed to help building managers conserve energy and water while improving operational efficiency, and is also exploring car sharing as a way to conserve resources.
In a Monday request for information published in FedBizOpps.gov, the agency asked for input from companies, educational institutions and nonprofits for “innovative, transformational green building technologies in support” of its Green Proving Ground program.
The program, launched in 2011, “leverages GSA’s own 9,200-site real estate portfolio as a test bed to evaluate the viability of emerging building technologies and practices.” Technologies chosen for the program are tested in federally owned buildings for use by GSA in finding ways to make buildings more efficient and assist industry in deploying new technologies and practices into the broader market. Previous products and practices tested by GSA dealt with buildings’ windows thermal “envelope,” heating and cooling management, lighting and on-site power generation.
Submissions are due by Dec. 9.
In a separate solicitation on Tuesday, GSA launched a similar search for private sector input on agency car-sharing practices to improve the efficiency of the federal fleet. Anticipating ongoing budget pressures, the agency announced a new pilot car sharing program in Washington, New York, Boston and Chicago.
“GSA manages one of the largest federal fleets in the U.S. government,” said Tom Sharpe, commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. “This common-sense approach will help agencies focus their limited resources on their critical mission, rather than fleet services. We will be able to test whether it is more cost-effective and beneficial to use a car sharing service in lieu of taxi cabs, renting, leasing and/or purchasing a vehicle."