State government fleets fall by 2.6%; Texas hit hardest

In its newly released Highway Statistics 2002 report, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports an average decrease in fleet size for the entire U.S. to be a lower-than-expected 2.6%. Texas experienced the largest decrease in its bus and truck fleets. Texas has one of the largest fleets in the country, but was the only state to downsize its bus fleet in 2002. Texas also led the decline in truck/tractor fleets, shrinking that area by 25.6%. Four of the top 10 largest state fleets also downsized their truck/tractor fleets. However, New York was the only other state beside Texas with a decline greater than 5%. Most of the other 40 states downsized their fleets, but on average the decrease was not as dramatic as some economists predicted.The federal government increased the size of its bus and truck fleets in 2001, but the total number of vehicles operated by the federal government is still small relative to the state, county and municipal total. Whereas the federal government makes sure that its expenditures on vehicles are consistent from state-to-state, individual state expenditures vary significantly."While this data is historical, it is useful for two primary reasons because it helps identify market size for trucks and buses in each state," said Stephen Latin-Kasper, director of market data & research for the National Truck Equipment Association. "The data also helps distributors and manufacturers understand whether they under-performed or outperformed the industry in each state."

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