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Federal Employees Should Use Uber More, Lawmaker Says

Bill would replace some agency-owned vehicles and boost use of ride-sharing companies.

The federal government maintains a fleet of more than 630,000 vehicles, which comes with an annual price tag of more than $4.4 billion.

Rather than managing what is the largest fleet held by any organization in the country, one lawmaker has introduced a bill to help federal agencies embrace the 21st century.  

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., this week put forward a measure to force some agencies get rid of a portion of their fleets and instead use “ride-sharing services.” Companies such as Uber and Lyft, which allow users to call drivers using their own cars on demand to take them from one place to another, have become increasingly popular in recent years as they have expanded to more and more cities.

The bill would establish pilot programs at the departments of Agriculture, Interior and Energy, which would cut their fleets by 10 percent by selling vehicles off or “other appropriate disposal.” Those departments would boost the use of commercial ride-sharing companies at the discretion of their secretaries. They would also have to report back to Congress on results of the program, its impact on their transportation budgets and any recommendations they have.

The three would-be pilot departments own about 60,000 vehicles among them, and rent out an additional 27,000 from the General Services Administration. They collectively make up more than one-third of the federal government’s civilian agency fleet.

(Image via mikedotta / Shutterstock.com)