Shifting from LOS to VMT as the Measure of Transportation Impacts: Evaluating Prospects for Implementing Senate Bill 743

California’s Senate Bill (SB) 743, enacted in 2013, marks a historic policy shift in evaluation and mitigation of traffic impacts of development projects. To help achieve state climate policy and sustainability goals, SB 743 eliminates traffic delay as an environmental impact under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), requiring instead assessment of vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Recently proposed state implementation guidelines have sparked debate, raising far-reaching questions about development planning. Using a case study approach, our research will consist of two parts. The first will evaluate tools-in-use for estimating VMT impacts of development projects, considering outputs in connection to the best available research on the subject, and also against the proposed state rules for determining significant effects that require mitigation. The project will evaluate how well the tools and proposed guidelines distinguish high- and low-performing projects, and how well they serve to streamline project-level analysis from plan-level analysis – a goal of SB 743. The second component will consist of interviews with local CEQA practitioners and assessment of pertinent documents on CEQA review, to identify challenges for implementing SB 743 at the local level. The research will identify effective VMT assessment techniques that state policymakers may want to recommend to local agencies.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $119224
  • Contract Numbers:

    2016 - TO 039 - 65A0529

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    California Department of Transportation

    1227 O Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95843

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT)

    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720-1782
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of California, Berkeley

    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720-1720
  • Principal Investigators:

    Chatman, Daniel

  • Start Date: 20160501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170430
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01628705
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT)
  • Contract Numbers: 2016 - TO 039 - 65A0529
  • Created Date: Mar 8 2017 5:28PM