Vehicles Miles Traveled Transition

Vehicle Miles Traveled Banner Image

The City is pursuing ways to align and meet state requirements set by California Senate Bill 743 (SB 743). SB 743 changes the method used to measure transportation impacts associated with development and/or roadway projects. The new method is called Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), and the bill requires California municipalities to:

  • Use VMT to comply with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) assessments of transportation impacts.
  • Develop a VMT policy guidance, including thresholds of significance, project screening criteria, and mitigation VMT reduction strategies.

VMT, which focuses the measurement on the number of miles driven for traffic, is meant to better align with state goals of environmental protection, land-use diversity, and development of multi-modal travel networks. This change toward VMT analysis is expected to:

  • Align transportation impact analysis and mitigation with goals to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.
  • Reduce overall VMT with land-use planning.
  • Streamline review of land-use and transportation projects.

In December 2018, the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) published the Technical Advisory on Evaluating Transportation Impacts in CEQA (referred to herein as the OPR Technical Advisory), which provides guidelines on the implementation of SB 743. The OPR Technical Advisory’s guidelines state that VMT must be the metric used to determine significant transportation impacts. This requirement will apply statewide effective July 1, 2020; lead agencies can opt in sooner at their own discretion.

In addition to VMT, the City of Santa Rosa will still use the old measurement method of Level of Service (LOS), which focuses on congestion at intersections and roadways, to address local roadway operations.

  1. Nancy Adams

    Transportation Planner
    Phone: 707-543-3910

  1. Progress
  2. Details
  3. Documents
  4. Background


We are in the policy development phase of this project. During this phase we will:

  • Hold public informational meetings
  • Determine how VMT affects our environmental review process
  • Develop the technical expertise and tools needed to put this change in effect

Upcoming Meetings

No meetings scheduled at this time

General Plan 2050 meetings/schedule

See this page for information regarding meetings on the General Plan 2050.

Anticipated Timeline

December 5, 2019City Attorney’s Office (CAO), Planning and Economic Development (PED), Transportation and Public Works (TPW)
Meeting With TPW/PED Staff – review preliminary VMT information
December 10, 2019CAO, PED, TPWMeeting with TPW/PED Staff
Review preliminary VMT Info
January 13, 2020CAO, PED, TPW
Meeting With TPW/PED/CAO Staff – review preliminary VMT information
January 16, 2020TPW

Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board Mtg – information item

January 29, 2020CAO, PED, TPW
Climate Action Subcommittee Mtg – information item
May 12, 2020TPW, PED, CAO, Sonoma County Transporation Authority (SCTA), W-TransVMT Training
May 29, 2020CAO, PED, TPW
Finalize Draft VMT guidelines/thresholds/mitigation For City Review
June 5, 2020CAO, PED, TPW
Comments Due on Final Draft VMT Guidelines – PED, CAO and Transit
June 12, 2020PED, TPW

VMT Outreach Strategy – Soft launch VMT Webpage - Post Final Draft Guidelines, FAQs, Schedule, Training PPT, Board/Committee presentations/Intro/Background/Screening Map

June 15, 2020CAO, PED, TPW

City Council VMT memo update

Planning Commission/Design Review Board VMT memo update1
July 1, 2020CAO, PED, TPW

VMT Implementation

October 1, 2020
(and every 3 months thereafter)
VMT Process – Ongoing Evaluation
(Every 3 months)