The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) partnered with a Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) research team and San José State University (SJSU) students for assistance in developing the equity framework for the agency’s proposed Equitable Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Mitigation Program. The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of driving generated from new developments in Santa Clara County through transportation solutions with equity and cross-jurisdictional collaboration in mind. During the Fall 2023 semester, graduate urban planning students from SJSU worked to develop policy recommendations for the program equity framework through a literature review, spatial analysis, community engagement observations, and stakeholder interviews. This report summarizes and builds upon student contributions to present a set of equity-focused recommendations for VTA to consider for program development, implementation, and evaluation. Notable strategies identified for developing the framework include defining VMT equity with local relevance, creating an accountability plan, and embedding equity into key decision-making points. Additionally, a transportation challenge frequently mentioned by stakeholders was a need for improved transit availability, frequency, reliability, and speed. Major recommendations discussed in the report include developing and adopting a localized definition of VMT equity, developing an informative and implementable accountability plan, embedding equity measures into project prioritization and evaluation processes, and prioritizing improvements to public transit. Lessons learned can help other jurisdictions develop and implement equitable VMT mitigation programs and effective community engagement processes. Additionally, the report provides an overview of the factors that go into program development, which can help readers better understand this process and identify areas where they can get involved.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Planning and Policy, Workforce and Labor

Digital Object Identifier

MTI Project



Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), Mitigation, Transportation Emissions Equity Priority Communities, Program Equity Framework, Community Engagement


Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Transportation