Exploring the Use of Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as an Evaluation Metric within Virginia’s Transportation Planning Process

Project No: 124614

Target Completion Date: February 28, 2026 Environment, Planning, and Economics

About the project:

Traditionally, Level of Service (LOS) has been the primary metric used to quantify the transportation effects of proposed projects such as land development proposals or transportation improvements. Projects thus typically aim to minimize increases in road congestion, quantified under LOS as movement towards a lower level (i.e., closer to LOS F). More recently, jurisdictions including California have begun using Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) to measure transportation impacts. Unlike LOS-based evaluations, which aim to minimize increases in traffic congestion, VMT-based evaluations seek to measure the extent to which a proposal can reduce (or slow the increase in) vehicle travel in a corridor, area, or region. This study will explore how VMT might be used as a transportation evaluation metric in Virginia by investigating how it has been used elsewhere and examining how those applications could be translated to the Virginia context. VDOT would benefit from an improved understanding of the uses of VMT in several areas of planning practice.

Project Team

Principal Investigators

Non VTRC Investigators

  • Jonathan McKinney

Last updated: November 14, 2023

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