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Strategies for Reducing Vehicle-miles Traveled (VMT)

Date: 09/18/2013, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Speaker: Dr. Susan Handy
Organization: Department of Environmental Science and Policy, Director of Education for the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis
OST-R Office: Office of Research, Development and Technology (RDT)


Dr. Susan HandyThe State of California has set an ambitious goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  For the transportation sector, changes in vehicle and fuel technologies will get the state a long way towards its goal, but forecasts show that reductions in driving will also be necessary.  State policy now requires Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to adopt a Sustainable Communities Strategy that outlines the set of strategies the regions will implement to meet their targets for reductions in vehicle-miles traveled (VMT).    In the absence of conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of possible strategies, MPOs are struggling to identify the set of strategies that offer the greatest potential for success.  This presentation looks at three of the many questions underlying this struggle:  Will the recent downturn in VMT take care of the problem?  If not, which of the possible strategies are likely to help the most?  In particular, will the current bicycling craze make a difference? Although much research remains to be done, existing evidence points to the need for a multi-faceted approach to reducing VMT.

Sponsored by: Research and Innovative Technology Administration, University Transportation Centers Program

DISCLAIMER: The views of the presenter do not reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

For more information, contact Denise E. Dunn at

Last updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017