• Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in California dropped 12 percent (or 41,024 miles) between 2019 and 2020, to 299.8 billion miles. Meanwhile, VMT per capita decreased 12 percent during the same period to 7,582 miles per person. Before 2019, the Total VMT (millions) increased slightly faster than the population. The total VMT has been on a steady incline for several years since 2012, and it decreased for the first time in 2019. 2020 marked the second year where total VMT decreased from the previous year, despite the population increase.
  • Most of the decline in VMT is on non-Federal-Aid Highways (-8,191 miles), which accounted for 4.4 percent of all VMT in 2020. By comparison, VMT on Federal-Aid Highways95 decreased by only 1.38 percent. In addition, VMT declined by a significant percentage in urban areas (-12.4%) compared to rural areas (-3.3%), accounting for a 14.5 percent further decline from 2018 to 2020.

95 The Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP), established in 1916, is an umbrella term for the separate highway programs administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Roads under the National Highway System, which accounted for 67 percent of total VMT in 2020 in California, are part of the Federal-Aid Highways.