About the Project

Website in development

The case studies, summaries of the case studies and other materials generated in the course of the project are in the process of final editing.  They will be posted here as the reviews are completed. 

In 2016, several California state agencies, metropolitan planning organizations  and other organizations came together to commission case studies that would assist  policy makers, public agency land use and transportation planners, consulting professionals in private practice, businesses, and community groups with understanding the implementation of California Senate Bill 743’s changes to the California Environmental Quality Act.  The results of that project are presented on this website.

This website presents four case studies applying SB 743 to projects previously approved under CEQA using  old standard of Level of Service (LOS)  for measuring transportation impacts. The case studies explore how to apply the new metric of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) to measure the transportation impacts of such projects and ways to mitigate that additional VMT in compliance with CEQA. 

The case studies illustrate:

  • Methods for determining the proper transportation impact area;

  • Methods for estimating the changes in VMT

  • Approaches for choosing a threshold of significance

  • Illustrations of ways of mitigating the VMT that exceeded the threshold of significance

In addition, the results of workshops on project-level VMT mitigation and other levels of mitigation are presented, including the concept of a VMT mitigation transaction system.

CEQA allows a great deal of discretion to lead agencies, and it is hoped that these materials will be helpful to lead agencies and project partners as they carry out their responsibilities under CEQA.

DISCLAIMER: These case studies and other materials are not offered as opinions of the proper interpretation and application of SB 743, or more generally of CEQA.  They cannot be relied upon as authoritative or binding interpretations of SB 743 and CEQA.

 The project received generous financial support from:

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Sacramento Area Council of Governments

Southern California Association of Governments


Urban Sustainability Accelerator at Portland State University

Participating organizations (which generously contributed staff time and other support):

California Association of Councils of Government (CalCOG)

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Fehr & Peers

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Sacramento Area Council of Governments

San Diego Association of Governments

San Joaquin Council of Governments

Southern California Association of Governments

Workshop sponsor organizations (which provided staff time, presentations and other support):

California Vanpool Authority (CalVans)

City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT)

City of San Jose

Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)


San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Project direction and management provided by the Urban Sustainability Accelerator at Portland State University