State and Local Policy Database

Transportation Summary

Climate change, together with fluctuating fuel prices, has placed the issue of energy efficiency in the transportation sector at the forefront of the environmental debate. In response, states have taken it upon themselves to adopt policies that go above and beyond existing federal transportation policies. California’s vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards have been adopted by several states across the nation seeking to lead the way in saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As another approach to promoting advanced vehicles, several states have chosen to adopt tax incentives for hybrid-electric and alternative fuel vehicles (HEVs and AFVs). Such incentives add to federal tax credits for advanced technology vehicles, making them more affordable to consumers. They also can help bring down manufacturing costs by increasing sales volume.

Raising fuel economy and emissions standards will not alone address transportation efficiency in the long term if growth in total vehicle miles traveled goes unchecked. U.S. highway vehicle miles travelled (VMT) is projected to grow 60% by 2030, in line with population growth in the country. Unlike vehicle fuel economy, which is addressed at the federal level, strategies to manage VMT are typically local or regional, giving states an important role in encouraging smart growth and slowing growth in VMT. Transportation is inherently tied to smart growth land use policies. Land use policies can lower VMT by incorporating principles of both smart growth and smart transportation. Successful strategies for smart growth land use planning reform will vary widely among states due to the current infrastructure, geography, and political structure. However, the core principles of smart growth should be embodied in state comprehensive plans.

Alabama has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage energy efficiency in the transportation sector. There is significant room for growth.

Alaska has one of the highest per capita transit expenditures of any state, an indication that they have an interest in promoting energy-efficient modes of transportation. However, the state has not pursued specific energy-efficient transportation policies.

Arizona offers incentives for high-efficiency vehicles, and has policies in place that encourage the integration of transportation and land-use planning. 

Despite having transit legislation, Arkansas has not really focused its efforts on policies to encourage energy-efficiency in transportation. There is significant room for growth.

California has some of the most comprehensive transportation and land-use planning policies in the nation.

In 2013, Colorado passed legislation that allows the entire local share of the Highway Users Tax Fund to be used for public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian investments. The state also has incentives for high-efficiency vehicles.

The state's efficient transportation policies include tailpipe emissions standards and complete streets legislation. Connecticut does not have targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled, nor does the state offer incentives for high efficiency vehicles.

The state commits a significant amount of effort to integrating transportation and land-use planning. Delaware has passed complete streets legislation.

Tailpipe emissions standards and incentives for high efficiency vehicles are in place. The District allocated a notable amount of funding for transportation.

The state has a dedicated revenue stream for transportation projects, and has policies to promote the integration of transportation and land-use planning.

The state has complete streets legislation in place, and also provides incentives for high-efficiency vehicles.

The state integrates transportation and land use planning and has passed complete streets legislation, but has not pursued other energy-efficient transportation policies.

The state has not focused its efforts on efficient transportation policies, leaving significant room for growth.

Illinois allocates a notable amount of funding to transportation efficiency and has complete streets legislation in place.

The state has focused very little on efficient transportation policies, leaving significant room for growth.

Iowa integrates transportation and land use planning, and 4% of the fees for new vehicle registration support public transportation.

Kansas adopted legislation in 2010 that provides funding for multimodal development programs, but otherwise has no otherpolicies in place that encourage energy-efficient transportation.

Kentucky has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage energy-efficient transportation besides creating a state freight plan, leaving significant room for growth.

Lousiana adopted a complete streets policy in 2010 and has tax credits for the purchase of high-efficiency vehicles, but has not otherwise pursued efficient transportation measures.

Maine has set targets for reduced vehicle miles traveled, has standards for tailpipe emissions, and integrates transportation and land use planning. 

The state devotes a significant amount of funding to transportation projects, has tailpipe emissions standards, and integrates transportation and land use planning.

The state's comprehensive set of policies includes tailpipe emissions standards, targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled, significant levels of transit funding, and a dedicated transit revenue stream.

Michigan has legislation in place that funnels vehicle registration revenues toward public transportation and transit demand management programs. The state integrates transportation and land use planning, devotes a significant amount of funding to transportation, and has complete streets legislation in place.

Minnesota adopted legislation in 2010 that provides significant funding for transit maintenance and construction, although funding levels have dropped in recent years. Minnesota has complete streets legislation in place.

The state has complete streets legislation in place, but has not otherwise pursued policies to encourage efficient transportation system development.

Missouri has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for growth.

Montana has not focused on policies to encourage efficient vehicles and transportation systems.

Nebraska has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for growth.

Nevada has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for growth.

The state integrates transportation and land-use planning, but has not otherwise pursued policies to encourage efficient transportation systems.

The state integrates transportation and land-use planning and has a complete streets policy in place. New Jersey offers incentives for high efficiency vehicles and devotes a significant amount of funding to transportation initiatives.

The state has not pursued policies to encourage efficient transportation systems.

New York leads the nation with its efficient transportation policies. The state has a comprehensive set of policies to encourage efficient transportation system, and sets aside a significant amount of funding for transportation initiatives.

The state has complete streets legislation, a dedicated revenue stream for transit investments,a nd integrates transportation and land-use planning.

The state integrates transportation and land-use planning, but has not otherwise pursued policies that encourage efficient transportation systems.

The state has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for improvement.

The state allowed its high-efficiency vehicle incentives expire in 2014 and has not pursued any additional policies to encourage efficient transportation systems.

The state has targets for reduced vehicle miles traveled, tailpipe emissions standards, and integrates transportation and land use planning. Oregon has passed complete streets legislation.

The state has a comprehensive set of policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, including tailpipe emissions standards, a dedicated revenue stream for transit projects, complete streets legislation, and incentives for high efficiency vehicles.

The state integrates transportation and land use planning, and devotes significant funding to transportation initiatives. Rhode Island has set tailpipe emissions standards and passed complete streets legislation.

The state has a state freight plan in addition to complete streets legislation and incentives for high-efficiency vehicles.

The state has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for growth.

The state has passed complete streets legislation and allows regional authorities to set up dedicated funding streams for mass transit.

Although Texas has issued legislation supporting complete streets, it has not pursued other policies that encourage efficient transportation systems.

The state offers incentives for high-efficiency vehicles, but has not otherwise pursued policies to encourage efficient transportation systems.

The state has tailpipe emissions standards and complete streets legislation in place, and integrates transportation and land use planning.

The state devotes significant funding to transportation initiatives, integrates transportation and land use planning, and has passed complete streets legislation.

The state implements a variety of policies to encourage efficient transportation initatives, and has a dedicated revenue stream for transportation projects.

In 2013, the state passed transit legislation establishing a fund to pay track access fees accrued by commuter rail services. West Virginia has also passed complete streets legislation.

The state devotes a significant amount of funding to transit iniatives, and has complete streets legislation in place.

Wyoming has not focused its efforts on policies to encourage efficient transportation systems, leaving significant room for growth.