A Framework for Projecting the Potential Statewide Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Reduction from State-Level Strategies in California

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32) created a comprehensive, multi-year program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state. With the recent passage of Senate Bill 32, California has adopted an additional target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is considering a wide range of strategies for the 2016 Scoping Plan Update that focuses on reducing demand for driving. These strategies fall into four general categories: Pricing, Infill Development, Transportation Investments, and Travel Demand Management Programs. This white paper examines the evidence available and assumptions needed for projecting statewide Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) reductions for each category of strategies. The goal is to provide a framework for projecting the magnitude of reductions that the state might expect for the different strategies. This framework helps to illuminate the sequence of events that would produce VMT reductions and highlights important gaps in knowledge that increases the uncertainty of the projections. Despite uncertainties, the evidence justifies state action on these strategies: the available evidence shows that the strategies considered in this paper are likely to reduce VMT if promoted by state policy.


Research Area