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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

Last updated September 28, 2022


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

CET-1: Complete and Implement the Citywide Active Transportation Plan

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 multimodal 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).

In 2020, the City received funding through the Caltrans Sustainable Communities Grant to begin work on the development of the Modal Alternatives Plan (MAP), which directly implements the ATP. The City hosted two public workshops and coordinated a community survey to gain constituent feedback in 2021 and into 2022. The purpose of the MAP is to provide City staff with a comprehensive list of prioritized ATP bike and pedestrian projects that community members wish to see built. The final implementation plan is anticipated to be complete in early 2023. 

Last updated September 28, 2022


CET-1: Complete and Implement the Citywide Active Transportation Plan

Bike Facilities

 Since 2012, the City has installed a total of 15.5 miles of bike lanes. In 2021, the City installed 0 miles of new bike lanes. However, in 2021, 5.6 miles of new bike facilities were in design.

*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.

Last updated September 28, 2022

CET-1: Complete and Implement the Citywide Active Transportation Plan

Pedestrian Facilities

Since 2012, the City has installed a total of 20.37 miles of pedestrian facilities. The City installed 1.27 miles of pedestrian facilities including sidewalks, walkways, and crosswalks in 2021. One notable pedestrian project completed in 2021 included the replacement of the existing concrete sidewalk with ADA-compliant sidewalk at MacKinnon Avenue from Birmingham Drive to Interstate 5. 

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.

Last updated September 28, 2022


CET-2: Implement a Local Shuttle System 

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 mini-shuttles, neighborhood electric vehicles, and shared ride hailing technology like Uber and Lyft. 

In 2020, the City actively collaborated with regional partners such as the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the North County Transit District (NCTD), and neighboring jurisdictions—including the cities of Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Oceanside—to develop a sub-regional or local public transportation system related to this CAP measure. The partners assessed options including shared neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) rideshare programs, such as the City of San Diego’s Free Ride Everywhere Downtown program, and more traditional programs such as shuttle buses providing service to and from transit centers to employment centers. 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. 

Related to this measure, from 2018 through 2022, the City worked to launch a local bikeshare program. In 2018, the City entered a Memorandum of Understanding with several North County coastal cities to develop a bikeshare program. In 2019, the City adopted Ordinance 2019-02, which allowed for the formation and operation of a pilot bikeshare program by a City-selected vendor. Soon after, the City entered into a license agreement with a vendor to operate a pilot bikeshare program. Ultimately, due to COVID-19 and other circumstances, the vendor was unable to meet contract obligations and the agreement was terminated on September 21, 2020. However, in 2021, the City secured a partnership with an alternate vendor, BCycle, one of the largest and longest standing bike share companies in the United States. 

In coordination with the City, BCycle launched their pilot bikeshare program in early 2022. BCycle plans to install up to 500 docking stations for 250 electric bikes (e-bikes) throughout the City. An increase in access to an affordable and clean transportation alternative such as BCycle’s e-bikes will encourage locals and tourists alike to avoid driving vehicles and opt for zero emission shared bicycle transportation instead. BCycle’s bikeshare program will further aid the City in achieving its GHG reduction goals outlined in the CAP. 

Last updated September 28, 2022

CET-3: Improve Traffic Flow

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 fuel use:  

  • Retiming traffic signals 
  • 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 three roundabouts. By 2030, the CAP proposes the installation of an additional four 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.  

The construction of one roundabout at Eolus Avenue and Andrews Avenue was completed in October of 2021. Additionally, a roundabout on North Coast Highway 101 and El Portal Street was under construction as part of the first phase of the Leucadia Streetscape project in 2021. The City also retimed six traffic signals to improve traffic flow and pedestrian crossings in 2021. 

The City broke ground on the Leucadia Streetscape Project—a multi-year and multi-stage project aimed to preserve and enhance the North Coast Highway 101 corridor in Leucadia—in early 2021. Construction for Segment ‘A’ North of Leucadia Streetscape, which occurred from Marcheta Steet to Basil Street, was completed in the summer of 2022. Improvements included the El Portal roundabout, new sidewalks, new crosswalks, pedestrian trails, and green bike lanes down to Encinitas Boulevard. This projected supports CAP measure CET-3 and measure CET-1. 

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. Although the 2020 goals for traffic signal retiming have not been met and installation of roundabouts are still in process, the continued effort and commitment to these areas represents the City’s interest in prioritizing mobility improvements throughout the City to reduce GHG emissions.

Last updated September 28, 2022



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

Last updated September 28, 2022


CET-4: Require Residential Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

Residential EV Charging Stations

To increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption by residents, the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) proposed enacting local building codes that would require new single-family homes to install electrical equipment capable of handling an EV charger, making the home “EV Ready.” New multifamily homes are also required to install EV charging stations (EVCS) at 15% of the parking spaces in the complex. In November 2019, City Council adopted an ordinance enacting these new regulations, effective January 1, 2020. As a result of these new codes, the CAP estimated 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 185 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) by 2020 and 260 MTCO2e by 2030.

According to the City’s building permit data, three single-family residential buildings were issued new construction permits in 2020. Thus, the electric vehicle ordinance triggered three charging station and related electrical installations. Irrespective of the new EVCS ordinance, in 2021, 17 EVCS were installed at single family residences voluntarily, according to building permit records.

In total, 158 EVCS were permitted and installed at residential properties between 2012 to 2021. The City also assumes that many more EVCS have been installed than what has been reported according to the City’s permit records, as anecdotally, it is known that many EV owners install home charging stations without seeking permits from the City or directly plug into existing 110-volt wall sockets if their EV charging needs are not significant.

Last updated October 12, 2022

CET-5: Require Commercial Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations

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 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.  

In 2021, no commercial building projects triggered the new local EVCS code requirements. However, as of September of 2022, the total number of publicly available charging stations in Encinitas was 14. This number was determined based on information available from Plugshare, ChargeHub, and, in addition to local knowledge of City staff. It is important to note that not all commercial charging stations may be available 24/7 and that some require users to be customers for that particular charging network or for the vehicle being charged to have the appropriate charging plug. For example, the EV chargers located at BMW Encinitas may only be used by BMW vehicle owners. Drivers can visit PlugShare to see a station location map and to get more information about each publicly available charging station located in Encinitas. 

While the ordinance is in place and being enforced, it is evident that this new requirement may not result in the number of EVCS anticipated by the CAP. To supplement this ordinance, the City is in the process of developing an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Master Plan that will identify ideal locations for charging stations and outline additional measures the City can do to implement to promote EVCS installation at commercial locations. The City is also seeking grants, funding, and other opportunities to support EVCS installation. For example, the City coordinated the installation of six public DC Fast charging stations in the lower lot of the Civic Center at Vulcan Avenue and E Street. This project was formerly managed by a private entity, but was taken over by the City in 2021. These charging stations were installed and became available for public use in the spring of 2022. 

Last updated November 16, 2022


MCET-1: Transition to 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 2021, the City’s municipal fleet included 11 battery-electric vehicles, 1 plug-in hybrids, and 10 hybrid vehicles, with 22 clean fleet vehicles in total. EVs make up 41% of the light duty fleet—the portion of the fleet that commonly have EV alternatives available in the market. In accordance with the ZEV Fleet Conversion Plan, City vehicles are evaluated annually 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. In 2022, Five Level 2 charging stations were in the process of being installed as part of the City Hall renovation project. This project is anticipated to be completed in late 2022 at which time the charging stations will be available for use by the public, City employees and the City’s fleet vehicles.

Last updated November 16, 2022


MCET-1: Transition to Zero Emission Municipal Fleet

Purchasing EVs and Reducing Gasoline Use

Since 2012, due to the transition to EVs and right-sizing the fleet, total gasoline use by City vehicles has decreased by 51%, far exceeding the 2020 goal and making great strides towards a zero-emission light duty fleet by 2030. In 2021, 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 like conventional diesel but generates fewer emissions and other harmful substances when burned. 

Last updated November 16, 2022

MCET-1: Transition to Zero Emission Municipal Fleet

The Switch to Renewable Diesel

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 99% 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 255% since 2012. The switch to renewable diesel in 2018 enabled the City to far exceed both the 2020 and 2030 CAP goals for renewable diesel several years early. 

Last updated November 16, 2022

MCET-2: Adopt a Municipal Employee Telecommute Policy

Municipal Telecommute Policy

When the City’s CAP was updated in 2020, this measure was added, making it the CAP's 20th measure. The future policy will facilitate telecommuting by City employees based on job function and management approval. The implementation of this measure will assist in decreasing the City's overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled by City employees. Tracking progress toward this target will begin when the policy becomes effective.

Last updated November 16, 2022

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

Last updated September 28, 2022

Status of CAP Implementation