Silicon Valley Trail Loop Study: Reducing Emissions

Dec 01st, 2016

In the heart of Silicon Valley, an intersection of existing and planned trails and transit—including the Ridge Trail, the San Francisco Bay Trail, and the City of San Jose Trail Network—offers the opportunity to travel by trail and transit instead of by car. The Silicon Valley Trail Loop (SVTL) makes it convenient and fun to leave the car at home while commuting to work or school, running errands, enjoying urban attractions, or getting to nearby wild natural areas. The trail and public access possibilities will be greatly expanded by the opening of the new Berryessa BART station next year, which will directly intersect this trail loop and the Ridge Trail itself.

Combining trails and transit for commute and non-commute trips also helps cut greenhouse gases. For this project, the Ridge Trail, Bay Trail, and other partners completed a study focused on the SVTL that forecast greenhouse gas emissions reductions from replacing car trips with trail and transit trips, and surveyed options that large-scale tech employers, planners and decision-makers could use to encourage the shift from cars to trails and transit for commuting. A fully completed trail loop ranked as the #1 factor that would result in the greatest shift from cars to trail-and-transit commutes. Even low-cost simple measures to promote bicycling to work have a significant impact, such as policies allowing bicycles in buildings, “social” measures such as active commute contests or “bike-pooling,” and safety seminars.

You can plan your own trips with a new app we have developed in partnership with Trailhead Labs. Not only does this tool help plan trips, it also calculates carbon and cost savings!

Silicon Valley Trail Finder app
SVTL full study
SVTL executive Summary


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