Aspen Vehicle Miles Traveled Study
Charlier Associates, Inc. conducted the first comprehensive vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) study for the City of Aspen in 2015. The core component of the study included developing a data-driven VMT model that incorporates numerous local, regional, state and national data sources, including travel surveys, vehicle fleet inventories, fuel economy trends, traffic counts, transit ridership, and lodging studies among others. The VMT model was commissioned by the Aspen Canary Initiative to provide a robust and replicable means of estimating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from motor vehicles, which represent about 19% of total GHG emissions attributable to Aspen.
The breadth of data outputs available from the VMT model will allow the City to answer numerous metrics-based transportation related questions that are typically challenging in rural areas without travel modeling capabilities. VMT data can be sorted by travel group (resident, visitor, commuter, etc.), by vehicle type (car, passenger truck, commercial truck, bus, motorcycle, etc.), by fuel type (gasoline, diesel, CNG, etc.), by season (winter, summer, shoulder) by internal or external traffic attributable to Aspen, or by any combination of these. This tool provides more accurate GHG emissions estimates for Aspen's GHG Inventory and will allow the City to more precisely identify the sources of traffic and related trends, which will aide in effectively targeting transportation planning and transportation demand management programs to achieve the community’s goals.
The model was designed so that it can be updated annually by City staff and recalibrated as new data sources become available.