Many of the city's public works vehicles -- and all of its significant new ones -- are equipped with GPS units that allow constant tracking of their locations.
The department's director, Walter Veselka, said that he can see at any point where the trucks are and can even go back and check where they've been.
That means, for example, that managers can figure out which truck was in a given spot at a given time should someone have seen something that seemed untoward.
The big advantage of the devices, though, is that they allow the department to experiment a bit to see if there are more efficient solid waste routes or other changes that might make it easier and cheaper to do its work.
It would be interesting to find out if the GPS units would verify the commonly held notion that public works crews tend to congregate at certain donut shops near the beginning of each work day or if they linger over lunch or any of the other widespread notions that may have no basis in reality.
In any case, public works employees now know they're being watched from 22,000 miles up.*******
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