Vol. 2, Issue I | February 12, 2019
Caltrans Sustainability News
Message from Ellen Greenberg, Deputy Director for Sustainability
In 2018, Sustainability Program Manager Jeanie Ward-Waller and I had the pleasure of visiting all 12 Caltrans districts. As we toured the State, we met with many of you to learn about exciting sustainability work in progress as well as challenges and opportunities ahead. From electric charging station infrastructure to new complete streets projects, there’s much to be proud of.

With our 2018 district tour concluded, we approach 2019 with momentum—the Sustainability team at headquarters has grown and our sustainability priorities are evolving to reflect what we are learning in our work. Our ideas benefit from activities at Headquarters, input from the Goal Team 3 executive sponsors charged with guiding progress on the Department’s Sustainability goals, and our conversations around the State. Expect to hear more about Caltrans sustainability in 2019 as the team expands its communications activities, starting with this refreshed newsletter.

Throughout 2018 we focused on three sustainability priorities that helped us focus our efforts and link to Department and state goals--to champion active transportation; advance clean fuels, vehicles, and materials; and, prepare for climate change and extreme weather. In 2019 we’re re-formulating our priorities to capture the need to step up our efforts in light of the urgency and leadership needed on climate action, while strengthening our focus on the people and communities we serve. Stay tuned for updates as we work on finalizing our revised priorities. I look forward to partnering with you in advancing our sustainability work—we have a lot to accomplish together!


Ellen Greenberg,
Caltrans Deputy Director for Sustainability
Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) Update
Why are ZEVs important to us?
ZEVs are an essential part of our state's climate strategy, as well as a vital component of the effort to eliminate harmful auto exhaust. Transportation is a dominant source of carbon emissions in California—1/3 of those emissions being from tailpipes. By increasing the number of clean vehicles on the road through widespread adoption of ZEVs, California will take a critical step towards reaching our statewide goals of improving air quality and reducing the transportation sector’s climate impacts.

The ZEV Market
T he total number of ZEVs in the state is just over 500,000 and counting, reports the nonprofit Veloz. In 2018, California experienced a 312% surge in ZEV sales. About half of all U.S. ZEV sales occurred in California. In fact, California electric car sales broke year-over-year increases every month in 2018, displaying an encouraging trend in market uptake in support of California's goal to have 5 million ZEVs on the road by 2030 (Executive Order B-48-18).  

Caltrans advances its 5-Part ZEV program with launch of ZEV Technical Advisory Committee
We launched the ZEV Technical Advisory Committee (ZEV TAC) in January 2019 to develop, implement, and track activities to fulfill our commitments to ZEV adoption. The Department’s 5-Part ZEV Program, in the areas of 1) fleet vehicles, 2) workplace, 3) public, 4) sustainable freight, and 5) partnerships, seeks to enable the rapid adoption of ZEVs by the public and to lead by example in ZEV purchasing, ZEV policies, and charging station innovation. Learn more about Caltrans' ZEV work here.
Adapting to Climate Change

Did you know that winter storms in 2017 caused over $1 billion in repair costs for California's transportation system? Understanding our vulnerabilities to climate change can help the Department take a proactive approach to working with our partners to prepare for extreme events.

Vulnerability Assessments and interactive maps
Districts 2, 4, and 6 recently published their Vulnerability Assessments identifying key climate risks. Coordinated by Caltrans' Climate Change Branch with technical analysis completed by a consulting team, work is underway to complete assessments for each Caltrans district. Caltrans’ Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments are a step towards preparing the State Highway System for the impacts of climate change.  

Based on the work of climate science experts, the Assessments provide interactive GIS maps of future changes in five climate stressors: sea level rise, storm surges, wildfire, precipitation, and temperature. These projections are based on two greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) scenarios cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scenarios are essentially models built from a series of assumptions about when population growth and GHG emissions will peak. The Assessments overlay these climate maps with the State Highway System to identify locations that are likely to be impacted by climate change between now and 2100.  

Following completion of the Vulnerability Assessments, Caltrans will utilize the findings to evaluate and prioritize at-risk assets for adaptation.
Caltrans District Sustainability Spotlight
This section celebrates the outstanding sustainability work in our Caltrans districts and will feature an activity each issue.
District 9 HQ (City of Bishop, Inyo County) has a bike share program
Did you know that the Caltrans District 9 HQ has a bike share program that includes three standard bikes, one electric bike, and now an Electric Scooter as well?

Scooter Specs'
This e-scooter has a lengthy max travel distance of 19 miles and a zippy max speed of 15.5 mph. To see D-9’s instructional video for users of the e-scooter, view this video (sound on).

Sustainability News from Around the World

Throughout 2018 the Sustainability Program used the Department’s three sustainability priorities to help focus our efforts and link Department and state goals--to champion active transportation; advance clean fuels, vehicles, and materials; and, prepare for climate change and extreme weather. This section of the newsletter brings you news items from around the globe related to these three priorities.

*Disclaimer: The following content was curated by Jeff Woods, Sustainable Transportation Media Consultant. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the following linked articles belong solely to the authors of those articles, and not necessarily to Caltrans or its Sustainability Program.
Champion Active Transportation

A plan in Portland to restripe 2% of streets for bikes and buses will create 60% more capacity for people. Portland has adopted the plan, called Central City in Motion, which will cost $72 million and take 1% of existing street space currently used for parking to stripe new bus lanes and another 1% for bike lanes... (Sightline Institute)

A recent study from New Zealand found that investing in bike and pedestrian infrastructure coincided with a 30% increase increase in active travel. They also found 1% reductions in travel distance and 1.6% reduction in CO2. To reach these conclusions... (SSTI)
Advance Clean Vehicles, Fuels and Materials

The California Air Resources Board passed a regulation to require that transit agencies transition to purchasing zero emission buses by 2029 with a requirement that all buses be zero emission by 2040. Some agencies are worried about operational requirements on steep hills or under heavy service loads but the move has been welcomed by advocates who see... (New York Times)

Congestion pricing is seen as a solution to transit woes, especially much needed repairs to the subway in New York City. But the funding generated could also be used to electrify diesel bus fleets, which contribute to climate change and spread health damaging particulates. As congestion pricing is... (Environmental Defense Fund)
Prepare for Climate Change and Extreme Weather

The Minneapolis city council recently voted to approve their 2040 plan. The plan got press around the country for increasing the allowed amount of housing possible on single family lots and eliminating parking minimums. But some less discussed changes are the requirement to be carbon neutral by 2050... (MinnPost)

The City of Indianapolis has released an 80-point plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In addition to focusing on electric vehicle ownership, buildings, and energy reductions, the plan includes a social vulnerability index that looks at areas that need investment the most to deal with climate change.. . (Next City)
International Collaboration

California joins the Transport Decarbonization Alliance
Caltrans Director Laurie Berman and the External Affairs team taped a Newsflash about California's participation in the Transport Decarbonization Alliance (TDA). Decarbonization is the act of reducing the transport sector’s carbon emissions through three general strategies—fuels, vehicles and travel demand. Globally, the TDA has a goal of moving towards a net-zero emission mobility system before 2050.

“Climate change is not a vague fear or a far off event,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “We have to be vigilant every day to combat climate change.”
Walk, Bike, Transit Encouragement for State Employees

March is 'Try Transit' month
That’s right, this March is all about transit: learn about it, ride it, share your stories on social media, win prizes, and much more! 
Monday, March 4 th 11am-1pm
Learn How to Plan and Ride Transit at Sacramento's HQ
(More details to come)

Come out to learn about trip planning, fare payment, and the future of integrated travel in California. Volunteers will answer transit questions and help you plan a trip from your house or office. Stay tuned for more details.
Sponsor your very own Try Transit event!
Join us in our efforts to expand transit use at Caltrans! For more information on hosting your own kick-off event and promoting Try Transit month , please contact Sustainability@dot.ca.gov.
Sustainability Program Staff Highlight
Seeking Contributions and Feedback

Contributions: The Caltrans Sustainability Program welcomes submittals of content for possible inclusion in our next issue. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing, at  Sustainability@dot.ca.gov.

Feedback: This is our first issue of the re-invigorated sustainability newsletter, so we welcome your feedback. Did you find this issue informative? Would you like to see more of something? Let us know at Sustainability@dot.ca.gov.

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Caltrans Sustainability Program
1120 N St,
Sacramento, CA 95814