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Route Marker 5 - Fleet maintenance and driver training: What can we do to achieve our objectives in the short-term, with existing vehicles?


A primary objective of TRANSITIONS is to consider how Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, as well as locally harmful air pollutants, can be reduced. This can be achieved through a combination of measures, including better operational efficiency (e.g. reduced congestion and idling at terminals), improved driving practices, better road conditions, and through improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Good practice from a climate protection perspective also makes good business sense. Fuel is invariably the single largest cost item in public transport in developing/emerging economies, accounting for as much as half of the total cost.

As explained in further detail here, IPT operators often rely on imported, second-hand vehicles, hence fleet renewal schemes are an attractive option. There are, however, substantial improvements that could be achieved in the short-term, through improved maintenance of existing vehicles. 

As commented during a TRANSITIONS workshop, there is an important difference between the vehicle repair that is undertaken (to ensure it can operate) and vehicle maintenance (to prevent break-downs and improve performance)! It is considered that, through a combination of operational efficiency, driver behaviour, improvements to roads and vehicle maintenance, efficiency improvements in the order of 20% could be achieved.

Embedding good vehicle maintenance practices would have the added benefit of developing this capacity amongst operators, unions and associations, helping to secure the success of fleet renewal schemes and prevent the rapid deterioration of new vehicles in the medium to long term.

Self Assessment Questionnaire

See where you stand.

What data is being collected on IPT fuel consumption and related air quality impacts, to inform improvements, cost-benefit analysis and IPT business case review? (Select all that apply)

  • Fuel consumption and emissions standards at time of vehicle purchase

  • Actual fuel consumption and emissions during the operating life of the vehicle

  • Proportional IPT consumption and emissions comparied to other motorised transport

  • Overall transport contribution to city air quality and GHG emissions

Based upon the practices of a well-established union or route association you know well, which of the following are undertaken to improve fuel efficiency? (Select all that apply)

  • Tyre inflation is checked on a regular basis (to reduce friction losses)

  • Wheel alignment is checked on a regular basis (to reduce friction losses)

  • Engine and drive-train servicing is undertaken (to ensure best fuel efficiency for age/condition of vehicle)

  • Drivers are provided with training to understand how they can achieve the best fuel efficiency

  • Drivers are monitored (tracked) and offered incentives to help ensure consistent improvements in driving practices.

Further background information, cross-city comparison and actions for consideration relating to IPT fleets are presented at:

Related matters covering employment conditions and training for crew members are covered in:

You can also download the questionnaire template below and work on the answers with your colleagues!

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