• Boulder, United States

City Summary

The City of Boulder has been a long-standing leader in offering travel choices and has the vision of further developing a multimodal sustainable transportation system. The city focuses their efforts on better roads, new bicycle facilities, improved trails, cleaner vehicles and better transit services.

Significant challenges exist in the Transportation Master Plan goals for regional travel, particularly to increase mode share for transit and biking for nonresident employees who commute to Boulder for work, as well as to achieve Boulder’s Toward Vision Zero goals to improve safety for people using all modes of travel and reduce serious injury and fatal crashes.

Lessons learned through implementation of Boulder’s TMP over more than 27 years include the incentive of high frequency, direct transit service and the power of access management including SUMP (shared, unbundled, managed and paid) parking and travel demand management to accomplish mode shift. Most recent lessons learned through city’s “Living Lab” program to pilot innovative street designs address public outreach, communications, data collection, analysis and reporting, and project installation.

Targets/ Vision

Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is integrated with the city’s comprehensive plan, Climate Commitment, and overall Sustainability Framework (2014), with focus areas consisting of Complete Streets, Regional Travel, Transportation Demand Management, Funding, and Integrated Sustainability Initiatives. Boulder’s TMP includes an action plan which highlights key initiatives (immediate, near term, long term) in support of their community’s multimodal transportation vision.

TMP objectives for 2035 include:

  • Reduce vehicle miles of travel (VMT) in the Boulder Valley by 20%
  • Reduce single occupant vehicle travel to 20% of all trips for residents and to 60% of work trips for nonresidents
  • Achieve a 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and continued reduction in mobile source emissions of other air pollutants;
  • Expand fiscally viable transportation options for all.
  • Move “Toward Vision Zero” for fatal and serious injury crashes: continuous
  • The City of Boulder’s Climate Commitment, as well as the TMP, includes objectives to improve air quality and reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2050:

Achieved results


  • Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan calls for pedestrians and walking to be the primary mode of travel within the community. Recently, the city launched the “Boulder Walks” program to further promote walking.
  • Boulder’s citizens walk three times more than the national average.


  • Developed an extensive local bikeway system (163 centerline miles of on-street bike lanes and 60 miles of off-street/multi-use paths)
  • Designated as a “Platinum level” community by the League of American Bicyclists organization.
  • The city partners with Boulder B-cycle to provide bike sharing within Boulder

Public Transport:

  • Developed Local and regional partnerships to operate Boulder’s uniquely branded Community Transit Network.
  • Boulder’s local transit routes have grown 300 % since 1990.

City Statistics

Population (2014)
Area (in sq. kms)

Modal split

  • Walking 20%
  • Cycling 19%
  • Public transport 5%
  • Shared mobility 20%
  • Personal Car 36%


Reduction of 16% in GHG emissions 2035 (2013 baseline) (Transport Master Plan 2014)

Improve air quality and reduce GHG emissions by 80% by 2050

Reduce the number of single occupant vehicle mode share to 20 percent.

City News

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