California Department of Transportation

SB 743 Implementation

About Us

SB 743 was signed in 2013, requiring a move away from vehicle delay and level of service (LOS) under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) transportation analysis.  It requires the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to identify new metrics for identifying and mitigating transportation impacts.  

OPR identified Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per capita, VMT per employee, and net VMT as new metrics for transportation analysis and in November, 2017 released a CEQA Guidelines update package.  It is anticipated that regulatory language changes to CEQA will be adopted in 2018 by the Natural Resources Agency and that statewide implementation will occur on January 1, 2020.  An informational webinar hosted by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments highlights the CEQA Guidelines updates including SB 743 transportation analysis (audio starts at the 2:03 minute mark).

SB 743 affects important parts of Caltrans work:

  • review of local land use projects’ potential impact to the State Highway System
  • transportation analysis including induced vehicle travel analysis for State Highway System projects.

Caltrans is evolving our transportation analysis to be more multimodal—part of implementing our Strategic Management Plan 2015-2020.  

This webpage has information about Caltrans SB 743-related work, and helpful resources for SB 743 implementation work around the state.

 

Modeling

CSTDM Data—Caltrans’ California Statewide Travel Demand Modal is available for use when calculating residential and office projects’ VMT.  A dedicated website is available to more easily access CSTDM data.

 

Research Efforts

Caltrans Division of Research and Innovation (DRISI) supports SB 743-related research efforts.  
--UC Connect Shifting from LOS to VMT as the Measure of Transportation Impacts: Evaluating Prospects for Implementing Senate Bill 743

--Transportation Research Board. “In 2015, Caltrans sponsored a review of applicable induced vehicle travel research that could inform transportation analysis guidance in response to new laws in California such as Senate Bill 743, which prohibits the use of vehicle level of service and similar measures as the sole basis for determining significant transportation impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act.” (Source: Transportation Research Board).  
Marc Birnbaum, Caltrans Traffic Operations, co-authored the Transportation Research Board peer-reviewed paper: http://trrjournalonline.trb.org/doi/10.3141/2653-02

--VOLPE’s “Evolving Use of Level of Service Metrics in Transportation Analysis” includes a California case study on SB 743.  The paper is available at https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/evolving-use-level-service-metrics-transportation-analysis 
FHWA’s November 30, 2017 webinar highlights the case study; click on the California 0:31:23 link.
https://connectdot.connectsolutions.com/p97tqicx4c8/

 

Caltrans Local Development-Intergovernmental Review (LD-IGR)

LD-IGR Interim Guidance —Revised in November, 2016 this high level desk reference for District staff refocuses Caltrans LD-IGR program attention on local development project’s VMT, appropriate transportation demand measures (TDM), and determining how best to address multimodal operational issues. Revisions to the desk reference are shown in red and primarily reflect:

  • We'll use and reference OPR's future approved technical advisory when it is released.
  • Clearer references to consistency with MTP/SCSs.
  • Clearer ties to the California Transportation Plan 2040.

 

Early Adopters

In July, 2016 Caltrans Planning Horizons hosted a discussion by City of San Francisco and City of Pasadena about their early adoption of VMT thresholds.  Cities and counties around California may be interested in hearing about the impetus for and experience of creating the VMT thresholds.

Learn about local jurisdictions in California that have switched to a VMT metric in CEQA transportation analysis.


Additional Resources

Evaluation of Sketch-Level Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Quantification Tools.  National Center for Sustainable Transportation “researchers compare and evaluate VMT estimation tools across a sample of land use projects. They compare the results from different tools for each project, consider the applicability of methods in particular contexts and for different types of projects, and assess data needs, relative ease of use, and other practical considerations.”  The research is not done within a CEQA context, but it is interesting to review the use of the VMT estimation tools.

 

 

For more information on Caltrans SB 743 implementation efforts contact:


Alyssa Begley
Caltrans SB 743 Program Implementation Manager
Email:  alyssa.begley@dot.ca.gov
Desk: (916) 651-6882
Cellular:  (916) 261-3389