Active Transportation

Image: Women riding scooters

What is Active Transportation?

Active transportation refers to human powered transportation, and low speed electronic assist devices. Examples include but are not limited to bicycles, tricycles, wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs/scooters, skates and skateboards.

Active Transportation is a critical component in meeting environmental, economic and equity goals, and supporting jurisdictions in addressing their diverse transportation needs.


For more information on the Active Transportation Program, please contact:

Rachel Om
Senior Regional Planner, Mobility Planning and Goods Movement

Active Transportation Plan Toolkit

SCAG’s Active Transportation Plan Toolkit offers communities a complete suite of resources for developing an active transportation plan. Here you can learn more about how the Toolkit was developed, what the Toolkit includes and who it can serve, and how to access the Toolkit. 

Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative

The Toolkit marks the culmination of the Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative, a 2.5-year effort to respond to a stark reality for many communities in Southern California: fatalities and serious injuries from traffic collisions are concentrated on a subset of streets, increasing, and disproportionately impacting people walking and bicycling.

Furthermore, 56 percent of the High Injury Network within the SCAG region is in disadvantaged communities (DACs) and less than 26 percent have existing active transportation plans—resulting in multiple barriers to securing funding, implementing comprehensive networks, and improving access, safety, and health.

To change this, SCAG launched the Disadvantaged Communities Active Transportation Planning Initiative in 2019 with Alta, Studio One Eleven, and Urban Design 4 Health to develop, pilot, and refine the Toolkit in partnership with seven DACs in the region. The seven participating communities (Adelanto, Calipatria, Highland, Perris, Santa Fe Springs, Saticoy and Stanton) offered diverse contexts critical to developing a customizable and useful Toolkit by spanning both urban and rural settings, incorporated and unincorporated status, and all six counties within the SCAG region.

The pilot process culminated in seven complete active transportation plans in which more than 3,000 community members helped develop over 317 miles of recommended improvements for walking and biking.

Toolkit Overview

One of the first of its kind, the Toolkit includes an automated data analysis tool to evaluate existing collisions, bicycling network comfort, and demographics, and 28 map templates to help communities easily visualize data. It features innovative transportation-related health assessments using sources such as the California Healthy Places Index to help communities establish a baseline of their community’s health and better understand the relationship between active transportation and health. It offers a robust Outreach Toolkit with an Outreach and Equity Framework, engagement tracker, and sample materials for hosting Community Advisory Committee meetings, bilingual walk audits, interactive art installations, and more.

It offers guidance for developing recommendations and crafting grant applications, especially for the California Active Transportation Program. It helps build capacity among agency staff with trainings and guidebooks for ArcMap and advanced features in Microsoft Word. Finally, it includes a full, customizable active transportation plan template—and a Spanish version of the executive summary.

These elements together aim to help communities prepare their own active transportation plan, and ultimately, to set them up for potential funding opportunities to improve their pedestrian and bicycle environment.

Toolkit Components

The Toolkit consists of three parts:

1. Manual: Provides an overview of the process behind and how-to guide for using the Active Transportation Plan Toolkit.
2. Template: Includes a customizable Active Transportation Plan document template consisting of all required and best-practice elements.
3. Resources: Offers a suite of materials to guide the planning process and support community engagement, data analysis, project scheduling, graphics, adoption, implementations and more.

Centering Equity and Impacted Residents

Rooted in improving outcomes for historically excluded, vulnerable, or underrepresented communities, the pilot process and Toolkit are guided by an Outreach and Equity Framework, which ensures that vulnerable residents are identified, listened to and guide the planning process. Communities that use the Toolkit are encouraged to develop Community Advisory Committees, partner with Community-Based

Organizations (CBOs) utilize a variety of engagement activities to advance equity and serve diverse residents.

Who Can Use the Toolkit?

Designed to provide a low-cost model for communities throughout the SCAG region to develop their own active transportation plans, the Toolkit is available at no cost for use by cities, counties and other governmental agencies, as well as community groups and leaders hoping to conceptualize, articulate, and implement their visions for walking and biking. Although developed for the SCAG region, communities throughout California and beyond may access and customize the Toolkit accordingly.

Communities may also find the Toolkit helpful in supporting efforts related to active transportation planning beyond developing a full plan (e.g., learning about active transportation, developing new programs, conducting outreach during project implementation).

Access the Toolkit

The Toolkit is expected to be launched for public use shortly. Stay up-to-date by signing up for the SCAG newsletter.

Active Transportation Plan Funding

ATP Logo

The California Active Transportation Program (ATP) was created by Senate Bill 99 (Chapter 359, Statutes 2013) and Assembly Bill 101 (Chapter 354, Statutes 2013), to encourage increased use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking. The ATP consolidates existing federal and state transportation programs, including the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA) and State Safe Routes to School (SRTS), into a single program with a focus to make California a national leader in active transportation. 

The ATP has six main goals:
  1. Increase the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking.
  2. Increase the safety and mobility of non-motorized users.
  3. Advance the active transportation efforts of regional agencies to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals as established pursuant to Senate Bill 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) and Senate Bill 391 (Chapter 585, Statutes of 2009).
  4. Enhance public health, including reduction of childhood obesity through the use of programs including, but not limited to, projects eligible for Safe Routes to School Program funding.
  5. Ensure that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program.
  6. Provide a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users.

For more information, please visit California Transportation Commission ATP and Caltrans ATP. 

Statewide and Regional Funding Opportunities

ATP funding is awarded to projects in the SCAG region through two funding programs: the Statewide ATP and SCAG’s Regional ATP. The statewide guidelines and regional guidelines provide direction on project selection for each of the respective programs. There is a consolidated call for projects for both funding programs issued by the California Transportation Commission in spring of every even year (e.g. 2024) to solicit applications for all eligible project types. 

Typically, SCAG issues a supplemental call for projects, in coordination with the SCAG Sustainable Communities Program, in the fall of every even year, for specific types of planning, non-infrastructure and quick build projects that implement regional priorities and expand the reach of regional programs. 

Active Transportation Reports

First-last Mile Environmental Life-cycle Assessment Of Multimodal Transit In Los Angeles

This research evaluates the life cycle impacts of first and last mile trips on multimodal transit. 

Download the Report