Clean & Efficient Transportation

The Clean and Efficient Transportation strategy of the Climate Action Plan (CAP) leverages smart land use planning and other initiatives to encourage people to take transit, carpool, walk, or bike rather than drive alone.

This strategy also includes initiatives meant to boost the use of electric and alternative fueled vehicles when driving is necessary. Achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from this strategy involves coordination with local and regional transportation and planning agencies, as well as residents and businesses. Implementation of the Clean and Efficient Transportation strategy is estimated to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 4,481 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 5,900 MTCO2e by 2030.

Reduce VMT

Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled


Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) data shows how much people are driving in a given timeframe. We can reduce our community’s VMT by choosing transportation options like walking, biking, taking the bus, and carpooling to reduce the number of miles we drive alone. In 2012, the total VMT in Encinitas was approximately 1.4 million miles per day, which equates to 538 million miles traveled in that year. The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) identified two actions to reduce VMT:

  1. Complete and implement a citywide Active Transportation Plan (ATP)
  2. Organize a local shuttle system

UNIT

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is a measurement that estimates the total amount of miles vehicles travel within a certain area and in a given timeframe. The City measures VMT for Encinitas annually.

VMTVehicle Miles Traveled

Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled

Citywide Active Transportation Plan


The City's Climate Action Plan (CAP) established a goal of completing and implementing a citywide Active Transportation Plan (ATP). An ATP addresses local and regional bike and pedestrian travel by establishing proposed biking and walking facilities and improvements to multi-modal connections to public transit.

The City completed and adopted its ATP on August 22, 2018, meeting the 2020 goal. Implementation of cost-effective projects has and will continue to be initiated and major projects will be incorporated into the City’s Capital Improvement Plan based on project priority. After the ATP was completed, the CAP was updated in 2020 to include targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), encourage mode shift, and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Completion of the proposed bicycle and pedestrian projects established in the ATP would reduce emissions by an estimated 254 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e).

Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled

Bike Facilities


In 2020, the City installed 10.4 miles of new bike lanes. Since 2012, the City has installed a total of 15.5 miles of bike lanes. The largest bike improvement project in 2020 included the addition of 1.8 miles of protected bike lanes heading north and southbound on Highway 101 along the San Elijo Lagoon in Cardiff.

*Note: In 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2018, the City did not track data on bike facility improvements. Although not represented in this chart, bike facility improvement projects were still completed during these years. In 2019, it was reported that the City installed 4 miles of new bike facilities. However, that data has been reevaluated and adjusted to reflect the correct mileage of 4.1 miles.

Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled

Pedestrian Facilities


In 2020, the City installed 0.9 miles of pedestrian facilities including sidewalks, walkways, and crosswalks. Since 2012, the City has installed 19.1 miles of pedestrian facilities. One notable pedestrian project completed in 2020 included the installation of a 0.6-mile dirt path located alongside the sand dunes which were developed by the Cardiff Living Shoreline project.

Note: In 2019 it was reported that the City installed 2.75 miles of new pedestrian facilities. However, that data has been reevaluated and adjusted to reflect the correct mileage of 3.2 miles.

Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled

Local Shuttle System


The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) estimated that adding new local transit options could save 365,000 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2020 and 875,000 VMT in 2030. This would result in an estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of approximately 130 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) and 178 MTCO2e, respectively.

In 2014, the City completed a Transit Feasibility Study that recommended implementing new local transit routes to serve the Highway 101 corridor, education facilities in the city, and the Encinitas COASTER station. Since the adoption of the CAP, the City has been exploring potentially viable public transit options, including rideshare programs that may be served by microtransit electric vehicles. Microtransit is an on-demand transportation system that provides an alternative to traditional route-based transit like buses and trains. Microtransit includes more flexible transportation modes like minishuttles, neighborhood electric vehicles, and shared ride hailing technology like Uber and Lyft.

In 2020, the City also actively searched for grants and other outside funding to support this measures. The City will continue these collaboration and investigative efforts as CAP implementation continues.

Reduce On-Road Fuel Use

Reduce On-Road Fuel Use


Vehicle fuel usage is another way to measure how transportation impacts the climate. Reducing road congestion and improving traffic flow can lead to reductions in vehicle fuel use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) identified two ways to reduce fuels use:

  1. Efficient signal timing 
  2. Installing roundabouts

Efficient signal timing and roundabouts reduce vehicle stops and starts, improve vehicle stacking time, and reduce idle time, which collectively contributes to reduced fuel use and reduced GHG emissions.

By 2020, the CAP aimed to retime 60 traffic signals and install 3 roundabouts. By 2030, the CAP proposes the installation of an additional 4 roundabouts to improve traffic flow. These actions would reduce GHG emissions by approximately 3,671 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) in 2020 and 1,241 MTCO2e in 2030.

Between 2018 and 2020, the City retimed 14 traffic signals to improve traffic flow and pedestrian crossings.

Since the goals for on-road fuel use were established in the CAP in 2018, the City has shifted its focus to installing mobility infrastructure to promote the use of active transportation and reduce on-road fuel use, rather than adjusting traffic signal timing.


  

Increase Use of Alternative Fuels

Use Electric Vehicles


Vehicles that run on electricity produce fewer emissions than vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel. By supporting a network of electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), the City can help facilitate the switch to vehicles that run on electricity. As our electricity supply becomes cleaner, so will electric vehicles. The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) identified two actions to promote the adoption of electric vehicles:

  1. Require new single-family homes to be “EV Ready” and new multi-family developments to include EV charging stations
  2. Require new and remodeled commercial developments to install EV charging stations



  

Increase Use of Alternative Fuels

To increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption by residents, the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) proposed enacting local building codes that will require new single-family homes to install electrical equipment capable of handling an EV charger, making the home “EV Ready,” and new multi-family homes to install EV charging stations (EVCS) at 15% of the parking spaces in the complex. In November 2019, City Council considered and adopted an ordinance enacting these new regulations, effective January 1, 2020.

Residents are encouraged to explore the Electric Vehicle Charging Ordinance Fact Sheet for more information.

As a result of these new codes, the CAP estimates that 65 EVCS will be installed by 2020 and 370 EVCS will be installed by 2030 at new residential developments. Meeting these goals will decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 200 MTCO2e by 2020 and 250 MTCO2e by 2030. Now that the ordinance is in place, staff with begin tracking the City’s progress toward these targets.

Prior to the passing of the ordinance, some homeowners voluntarily installed EV charging stations at homes throughout Encinitas. In total, 149 EVCSs were permitted and installed at residential properties between 2012 to 2020, however this number could be more if chargers were not properly permitted through the City.

Increase Use of Alternative Fuels

Commercial EV Charging Stations


To increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption by residents, the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) proposed enacting local building codes requiring the installation of EV charging stations at 8% of the total number of parking spaces at commercial developments. This new requirement would apply to all new commercial developments (including the commercial portion of mixed-use projects) and commercial building modifications, alterations, and additions that are 10,000 square feet or greater. In November 2019, City Council considered and adopted an ordinance enacting these new regulations, effective January 1, 2020.

As a result of these new codes, the CAP estimated that 150 electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) will be installed by 2020 and 490 EVCS will be installed by 2030 at new commercial developments. Meeting these goals will decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 440 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 3,582 MTCO2e by 2030.

As of February 15, 2022, the total number of publicly available charging stations in Encinitas is 14. This number was determined based on information available from Plugshare, ChargeHub, and energy.gov, in addition to local knowledge of City staff.

Zero Emission Municipal Fleet

Transition to Zero Emission Municipal Fleet


The City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) set a goal of transitioning the City’s municipal fleet to “zero emission” or alternative fuels by 2030. Examples of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) include battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. Other low-emission vehicles like hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and compressed natural gas vehicles also contribute to reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In February 2018, the City drafted a ZEV Fleet Conversion Plan to achieve the CAP goal. According to the plan, the City will convert all light-duty vehicles to electric vehicles and all heavy-duty vehicles to renewable diesel. The City’s CAP estimated that this action would reduce fleet fuel use by 10% by 2020 and 30% by 2030, which reduces GHG emissions by 55 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) and 384 MTCO2e, respectively.

In 2020, the City’s municipal fleet included 7 battery-electric vehicles, 1 plug-in hybrid, and 13 hybrid vehicles, with 21 clean fleet vehicles in total. EVs make up 52% of the light duty fleet—the portion of the fleet that commonly have EV alternatives available in the market.

Last updated July 21, 2022

UNIT

Vehicles in fleets burn gallons of fossil fuels—such as gasoline and diesel—to operate, which emit greenhouse gases.

galGallons of Fuel

  

Transition to Zero Emission Municipal Fleet

Since 2012, due to the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and right-sizing the fleet, total gasoline use by City vehicles has decreased by 40%, far exceeding the 2020 goal and making great strides toward a zero-emission light duty fleet by 2030. In accordance with the ZEV Fleet Conversion Plan, City vehicles are annually evaluated and vehicle replacements are budgeted and scheduled as needed. Whenever possible, EVs are selected as replacement vehicles in the light-duty class.

In 2018, to support the transition to electric vehicles, the City installed 10 EV charging stations at the Public Works Yard through San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDGE) “Power Your Drive” program. More charging stations are planned for installation at City Hall, the Community and Senior Center, and the library. Five Level 2 charging stations for fleet use will be installed as part of the City Hall renovation project which is anticipated to be complete in 2022.

Transition to Zero Emission Municipal Fleet

In 2020, the City continued receiving deliveries of renewable diesel fuel for municipal fleet use. Renewable diesel is made from products that would otherwise be wasted, such as natural fats, vegetable oils, and greases, as opposed to conventional diesel which is derived from extracted petroleum. Renewable diesel is chemically similar to conventional diesel but generates fewer emissions and other harmful substances when burned.

All City fleet diesel-fueled vehicles—including pickups, dump trucks, fire trucks, and stationary generators—are now fueled by renewable diesel. The City tracks diesel use and, since 2012, there has been a 98% decrease in use of conventional diesel fuel, mainly due to an increase in use of renewable diesel. The City’s overall renewable diesel consumption has increased by 278% since 2012.

Vehicle Miles Traveled

How You Can Help


Choose an Alternative to Driving Alone - Take Transit, Carpool, or Bike
Ask a Friend or Co-Worker to Meet at a Local Park & Ride to Commute Together
Commit to Biking to Work by Using the San Diego Regional Bike Map

Status of CAP Implementation