A new policy introduced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week says public transportation is "the preferred method of travel" for Chicago city employees.

Under the new rules, employees who do not take public transportation must give an explanation on reimbursement forms. The maximum mileage per day has been capped at 50 miles and employees must drive at least 5 miles to be eligible for any reimbursement.

The city hopes to save $1 million a year with the new policy, $500,000 by encouraging public transportation and $500,000 through mileage caps.

Travel and mileage reimbursements were suspended in September after Inspector General Joseph Ferguson found that 54 firefighters had padded 2009 mileage reports.

"This new policy provides the necessary structure to ensure that city travel is efficient and above all an appropriate use of city resources," City Comptroller Amer Ahmad explained.

Since becoming mayor, Emanuel has been a big proponent of public transportation.

Watch this video from NBC Chicago, broadcast Sept. 20, 2011.

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

(H/T: Grist)