Equitable VMT Mitigation Program for Santa Clara County

Reducing Driving from Development Projects 

The Equitable Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Mitigation Program aims to reduce the amount of driving from land use developments in Santa Clara County, working across jurisdictional lines and improving travel options. The amount of driving, or VMT, is tied to greenhouse gas emissions, local air quality, health, noise pollution, and street safety. So lowering VMT improves quality of life and the environment. VTA is leading this project to develop a framework where cities, the county and developers can work together to reduce driving and improve equity along the way.  We welcome your input and involvement!

Check out these short videos for an introduction to the project, what VMT is, and why it’s important to reduce VMT.  

VMT Project Videos
Project Introduction  What is VMT & Why Does it Matter?  Why It's Important to Reduce VMT 
VMT Introduction Thumbnail
What is VMT
Reduce VMT Thumbnail

Background 

California Senate Bill (SB) 743 required cities and counties to switch from using automobile delay in transportation analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to using Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), which measures the total amount of driving over a given area. These changes became mandatory in July 2020.  Now that SB 743 is in effect, cities and counties need to consider the amount of VMT when they evaluate projects like new housing, office buildings, or shops under CEQA. VTA is working with its 15 cities/towns and the County of Santa Clara to provide assistance in implementing SB 743. 

In 2022 VTA was awarded a Caltrans planning grant to develop the framework for an Equitable VMT Mitigation Program for Santa Clara County, in coordination with its cities/towns and the County. The program could take the form of a VMT Exchange or VMT Bank, which could provide more options for agencies and developers who find a VMT impact that is difficult to mitigate at the individual project level.  

The team working on this project includes VTA staff, a Consultant Team (including two local Community-Based Organizations), and researchers and students from San José State University and the Mineta Transportation Institute.

COMMUNITY Engagement 

VTA is leading a broad community engagement effort as part of this project.  We are reaching out to residents of equity priority communities, the general public, Community-Based Organizations, city and county partners, and VTA Committees.  We are sharing information about the project, and talking with people about their transportation challenges, what improvements would help people drive less, and how we can improve equity with this project. We welcome your input! We anticipate releasing the draft report in Fall 2024 and will hold Phase 3 community engagement at that time.

Previous Opportunities - Phase 1

The first phase of community engagement ran from September through December 2023. Below is a summary of key community engagement events in Phase I. 

Virtual Community Meeting #1 

VTA hosted a Virtual Community Meeting on Zoom on the evening of Monday, October 16, 2023.  In the meeting the team gave an overview of the project, received input on travel challenges and how we could reduce driving, and answered questions. Bilingual staff presented in Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese. About 25 members of the public participated in the meeting. 

Tabling at Community Events 

The project team had a table at five community events, with posters of input exercises asking about how people travel, and how we could reduce driving. Materials were translated into Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.  Bilingual Spanish-speaking and Mandarin-speaking staff were available at most of these events.  Together about 325 people provided input at these events. 

  • Viva CalleSJ – Japantown, San José – Sunday, September 10, 2023 
  • VTP 2050 Open House – Roosevelt Community Center, San José – Wednesday, September 27, 2023 
  • Day on the Bay – Alviso, San José – Saturday, October 14, 2023 
  • La Ofrenda Festival – Downtown Gilroy – Saturday, October 28, 2023
  • De Anza College Flea Market – Cupertino – Saturday, December 2, 2023 
Community Survey of Travel Needs, Challenges and Preferences  

VTA conducted a Community Survey from October through December 2023 asking about how people travel, their travel needs and challenges, and preferences for how we could reduce driving. The survey was available on the web in 11 languages, and on paper at the events above. Over 375 people provided input through the survey.

 

Previous Opportunities - Phase 2

The second phase of community engagement took place in May and June, 2024. VTA held a series of virtual and in-person community workshops to discuss possible transportation solutions to reduce driving within Santa Clara County.

Community Workshops

In addition to two in-person workshops in Gilroy and San Jose, VTA hosted a virtual community workshop on Zoom on the evening of Monday, May 30, 2024. In this workshop, the project team and participants discussed three possible transportation programs to reduce driving.

Reducing Driving from Development Projects 

The Equitable Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Mitigation Program aims to reduce the amount of driving from land use developments in Santa Clara County, working across jurisdictional lines and improving travel options. The amount of driving, or VMT, is tied to greenhouse gas emissions, local air quality, health, noise pollution, and street safety. So lowering VMT improves quality of life and the environment. VTA is leading this project to develop a framework where cities, the county and developers can work together to reduce driving and improve equity along the way.  We welcome your input and involvement!

Check out these short videos for an introduction to the project, what VMT is, and why it’s important to reduce VMT.  

VMT Project Videos
Project Introduction  What is VMT & Why Does it Matter?  Why It's Important to Reduce VMT 
VMT Introduction Thumbnail
What is VMT
Reduce VMT Thumbnail

Background 

California Senate Bill (SB) 743 required cities and counties to switch from using automobile delay in transportation analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to using Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), which measures the total amount of driving over a given area. These changes became mandatory in July 2020.  Now that SB 743 is in effect, cities and counties need to consider the amount of VMT when they evaluate projects like new housing, office buildings, or shops under CEQA. VTA is working with its 15 cities/towns and the County of Santa Clara to provide assistance in implementing SB 743. 

In 2022 VTA was awarded a Caltrans planning grant to develop the framework for an Equitable VMT Mitigation Program for Santa Clara County, in coordination with its cities/towns and the County. The program could take the form of a VMT Exchange or VMT Bank, which could provide more options for agencies and developers who find a VMT impact that is difficult to mitigate at the individual project level.  

The team working on this project includes VTA staff, a Consultant Team (including two local Community-Based Organizations), and researchers and students from San José State University and the Mineta Transportation Institute.

COMMUNITY Engagement 

VTA is leading a broad community engagement effort as part of this project.  We are reaching out to residents of equity priority communities, the general public, Community-Based Organizations, city and county partners, and VTA Committees.  We are sharing information about the project, and talking with people about their transportation challenges, what improvements would help people drive less, and how we can improve equity with this project. We welcome your input! We anticipate releasing the draft report in Fall 2024 and will hold Phase 3 community engagement at that time.

Previous Opportunities - Phase 1

The first phase of community engagement ran from September through December 2023. Below is a summary of key community engagement events in Phase I. 

Virtual Community Meeting #1 

VTA hosted a Virtual Community Meeting on Zoom on the evening of Monday, October 16, 2023.  In the meeting the team gave an overview of the project, received input on travel challenges and how we could reduce driving, and answered questions. Bilingual staff presented in Spanish, Mandarin and Vietnamese. About 25 members of the public participated in the meeting. 

Tabling at Community Events 

The project team had a table at five community events, with posters of input exercises asking about how people travel, and how we could reduce driving. Materials were translated into Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.  Bilingual Spanish-speaking and Mandarin-speaking staff were available at most of these events.  Together about 325 people provided input at these events. 

  • Viva CalleSJ – Japantown, San José – Sunday, September 10, 2023 
  • VTP 2050 Open House – Roosevelt Community Center, San José – Wednesday, September 27, 2023 
  • Day on the Bay – Alviso, San José – Saturday, October 14, 2023 
  • La Ofrenda Festival – Downtown Gilroy – Saturday, October 28, 2023
  • De Anza College Flea Market – Cupertino – Saturday, December 2, 2023 
Community Survey of Travel Needs, Challenges and Preferences  

VTA conducted a Community Survey from October through December 2023 asking about how people travel, their travel needs and challenges, and preferences for how we could reduce driving. The survey was available on the web in 11 languages, and on paper at the events above. Over 375 people provided input through the survey.

 

Previous Opportunities - Phase 2

The second phase of community engagement took place in May and June, 2024. VTA held a series of virtual and in-person community workshops to discuss possible transportation solutions to reduce driving within Santa Clara County.

Community Workshops

In addition to two in-person workshops in Gilroy and San Jose, VTA hosted a virtual community workshop on Zoom on the evening of Monday, May 30, 2024. In this workshop, the project team and participants discussed three possible transportation programs to reduce driving.

Timeline

Title
Existing Conditions Analysis
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Project Launch
Milestone Date
Title
Public Input
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Phase 1 Community Engagement
Milestone Date
Title
Phase 2 Community Engagement
Milestone Date
Title
Phase 3 Community Engagement
Milestone Date
Title
Report Development
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Draft Equitable VMT Mitigation Program Report
Milestone Date
Title
Final Equitable VMT Mitigation Program Report
Milestone Date

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