Measuring, Analyzing and Identifying Small-Area VMT Reduction

Project Description

November 2020 - May 2022

A key element of the state’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation is the requirement that Metropolitan Planning Organizations adopt sustainable community strategies (SCSs) that demonstrate how the regions will reduce GHG emissions from autos and light trucks.  But the adoption of SCSs does not guarantee the adoption of policy and programming changes at the local level, nor on-the-ground changes in development that would produce a reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and associated GHGs. The goal of this project for the California Air Resources Board is to assess the degree to which on-the-ground changes in selected communities have produced reductions in VMT.  A secondary aim is to examine the degree to which local and/or regional policy change brought about the observed on-the-ground changes. This project will complete a minimum of three case studies of local communities that have experienced substantial changes in the transportation system and/or land development patterns to assess the change in VMT that has resulted; the forces contributing to transportation and land use changes, including local and/or regional policy changes, will also be examined.  These case studies may provide examples of best practices to achieve SCS goals as well as insights on barriers to successful SCS implementation.