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GPS snow system needs to "be able to deliver to the citizens what was promised" in Buffalo

GPS snow system needs to "be able to deliver to the citizens what was promised" says Council President Darius Pridgen.
Buffalo snow plow
Posted at 5:41 PM, Nov 22, 2022

BUFFALO (WKBW) — It was considered a key piece of the City of Buffalo's snow removal plan, but it was buried before it really got going.

The new GPS tracking system built into plow was expected to allow Buffalo residents to see which streets had been cleared of snow, and which streets were up next. It did not go as planned during the recent snow storm.

"The system was not reliable for this storm, and that's a fact," says Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "Obviously there were failures with the system."

So what went wrong?

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen tells 7 News that he's already working to find out.

"What the heck happened?," said Pridgen, "We paid for a product here. We expected it to work. There were no limitations, that at least the council had been informed of. So if it was the amount of traffic or whatever it was, that's the vendor. The vendor needs to be held accountable."

That vendor is AT&T Fleet Management powered by the Geotab Platform.

The 7 News I-Team working Tuesday to obtain the contract between the city and the vendor which shows the deal is not to exceed $50,000 a year, and expires in June of 2023.

Pridgen says the focus right now is on getting the system working efficiently for the next snow event.

"They have to correct it because we are under contract," says Pridgen. "We first have to find out exactly what occurred and mitigate it to make sure that it doesn't occur again. This is Buffalo. It snows. This will not be our last event for the year and we want to be able to deliver to the citizens what was promised"

7 News reached out to both AT&T Fleet management, and Geotab for comment and received the following statement from a spokesperson:

"We understand how important the public service information portal is to Buffalo residents and we are working with city officials and the mapping vendor to fully assess, learn from and appropriately address system issues experienced during last week’s historic weather event. Our service team responded quickly helping resolve initial technical issues and improve system performance during the heaviest snowfalls."