What is this indicator?

This indicator measures daily weekday vehicle miles traveled (VMT). VMT is estimated by a Santa Monica-specific Travel Demand Forecast Model (TDFM). The TDFM was created to simulate existing and future transportation conditions, including traffic levels and travel patterns. It is a sophisticated model that was calibrated based on a land use survey of the City and existing transportation counts. The TDFM encompasses the City of Santa Monica and neighboring areas of the City of Los Angeles. The TDFM is used to forecast the number of PM Peak Hour Trips generated within the City of Santa Monica (which relates to the City’s LUCE goal of No Net New PM Peak Hour Trips). The number of PM Peak Hour Trips generated within the City include strips beginning or ending in Santa Monica, and excludes trips that pass through the City.

Why is it important?

Reducing VMT by creating walkable, bike-friendly,transit-oriented oriented communities are key components of the Santa Monica Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE). LUCE is part of the Santa Monica General Plan, which establishes the City’s land use, urban design, and transportation vision. The higher the total VMT, the more congestion plagues our streets and pollutes the air. A reduction in total VMT indicates a reduction in trips and/or an overall shift to more sustainable transportation alternatives such as transit, biking, walking, or carpooling.

How are we doing?

In 2018, daily weekday VMT totaled 1,708,457 miles. This represents a 1% increase from daily VMT in 2013. The 2020 target is a downward trend. Based on 2018 data, the City is not on track to meet the 2020 target for an upward trend in total weekday VMT. However, the upward trend in 2018 is very minimal. Promoting sustainable transportation alternatives is necessary to continue reducing daily VMT. The City is working to make sustainable modes of transportation more safe and efficient, in order to decrease the amount of drive alone trips.  

What can I do?

  • Look up your public transit options on the Big Blue Bus .
  • Bike to work. View the most updated bike map to find the safest route to work, where to store your bike, and a list of local bike shops.
  • Check out the Santa Monica Bike Action Plan .
  • Learn more about the Land Use and Circulation Element(LUCE) .
  • If you’re lucky enough to be able to walk to work, leave your car at home!