With the Texas Department of Transportation ditching a shade of yellow, taxpayers are going to save some green: about $2 million a year.

TxDOT executive director Phil Wilson explained to me last week that for decades the agency has been painting transportation equipment a shade of yellow known as “federal yellow.”

Since World War II, equipment would come from the manufacturers into TxDOT’s possession painted just any ol’ shade yellow. The first thing TxDOT would do? Paint the brand-new vehicle’s the “federal yellow” shade before sticking on the TxDOT logo.

A TxDOT employee recently suggested the agency could save some cash by doing away with the expensive painting practice. The equipment might go to the field in slightly different shades of yellow, but that’s usually the case after working in the sun and dirt for a few weeks anyway.

A couple million dollars a year might seem like a pittance to an agency that spends billions, but Mr. Wilson and his team deserve credit for starting to look careful at ways to maximize dollars by rethinking the way they do the taxpayers’ business.

Taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill—at TxDOT or anywhere else—on the basis of “that’s how we’ve always done things.”

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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