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Why cities need public-private partnerships for government fleets

Published on June 28, 2021 in Marketplace by Michael Allegretti

An untapped opportunity to deliver tax-payer savings and better government service.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been a long-utilized strategy for expanding and improving government infrastructure but today, they have become more important and necessary than ever before. As city populations boom and infrastructure lags behind, PPPs have become especially crucial in advancing urban development and driving a better quality of life for all citizens.

Public-private partnerships for cities

Approximately 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas, and that number is only expected to grow. When it comes to resources, cities are always forced to do more with less.


This increasing urban population is paired with a host of new disruptions. The COVID-19 public health emergency provides a taste of how fragile social systems can be in the face of crisis, especially in urban areas.


In anticipation of these disruptions, cities must be prepared to protect their citizens by developing more resilient systems. PPPs are an effective way to establish strategy in urban areas, as these partnerships can target and optimize public infrastructure in cities, making “resiliency” a new normal.


Where it comes to government fleets, effective PPP models are especially useful and can deliver three key results by:

  • Digitizing operations
  • Enabling remote operation
  • Maximizing efficiency

Unpacking an effective public-private partnership

Waste and recycling management is an area rife with opportunities. Regardless of any crisis cities may face, the public’s waste still has to be handled. Rubicon® has launched dozens of PPPs with local governments to transform their public waste management systems—many of them with Geotab as a key part of the solution. Learn more about Geotab’s government fleet management.


Rubicon uses data to assess a city’s recycling rates, vehicle emissions, routing, and more, using these insights to drive actionable operational changes, always with an eye towards taxpayer saving and environmental improvement. The RUBICONSmartCity™ technology also helps to transform existing government fleets such as waste and recycling fleets into roaming data collection centers that can feed government work order systems across functional areas. Two examples of this include:

  • Spokane, Washington - The city utilized Rubicon and Geotab technologies to improve waste and recycling operations. Along the way, Spokane was able to cut paper costs by $25,000 and provide a better service to city residents. Read the full case study here.
  • Kansas City, Missouri - RUBICONSmartCity was installed in the city’s fleet of 80 sanitation vehicles that service approximately 160,000 locations to improve the residential waste and recycling services for the city’s more than 486,000 residents. Since this PPP’s inception, drivers have documented more than 17,000 issues at the curb. More than 60,000 jobs have flowed through Rubicon’s system and the city adds to these totals every day.

Read more: Geotab achieves milestone with 2,000+ government agency customers


Valuable time, money, and energy are all saved through PPPs in urban communities. Additionally, the host of data tracking capabilities allow cities to draw insights on areas for improvement. That way, they can act on any issues and develop more equitable and livable cities. When government fleets take advantage of these partnerships, they can advance their current operations and create a foundation for future success.

About Rubicon

Rubicon is a software platform that provides smart waste and recycling solutions for businesses and governments worldwide. Using technology to drive environmental innovation, the company helps turn businesses into more sustainable enterprises, and neighborhoods into greener and smarter places to live and work. For more information, visit Rubicon on the Geotab Marketplace.

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Geotab's blog posts are intended to provide information and encourage discussion on topics of interest to the telematics community at large. Geotab is not providing technical, professional or legal advice through these blog posts. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this blog post is timely and accurate, errors and omissions may occur, and the information presented here may become out-of-date with the passage of time.

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