How We Move
The Impact of Our Vehicles
Traditional vehicles burn gasoline, and that causes problems for our climate and our air quality. Burning fossil fuels creates greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to climate change, and on-road transportation alone accounts for roughly one-third of Santa Fe's emissions.
Tracking the Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), or the total annual miles that the average person travels in a car, can help us understand how much we rely on our personal vehicles to get around and how that impacts our emissions. Since 2017, Santa Fe VMTs have been decreasing; one way that the City is working to reduce VMTs is by connecting people with vanpools, buses, shuttles, and bike routes through the RideFinders service. Santa Fe residents can also reduce their own VMT by driving less polluting cars, such as electric vehicles (EVs).
Sources: City of Santa Fe, LEED Cities Report; Google Environmental Insights Explorer; Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics, 2017-2021.
How We Move
Our Vision for Sustainable Transportation
Santa Fe’s transportation system is reliant on personal vehicles, which create more greenhouse gas emissions from people traveling alone and makes Santa Fe less accessible for those who do not own a car. The City’s transportation vision is to develop a more balanced, equitable, and efficient system that prioritizes biking, walking, public transit, ridesharing, and more. Santa Fe's Multi-Modal transition Plan was adopted in 2022 and aims to help everyone access the City by public transit, walking, biking, and driving.
The multi-modal plan informs the City's priorities which are formalized in the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is short-term project list facilitated by the Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization that includes multi-modal transportation projects expected to be funded within a four year period (2022-2027). Current TIP projects include: Bishop's Lodge Rd Reconstruction Study, Guadalupe St Reconstruction Road Diet, St. Michael's Dr. Rail Trail Crossing/Underpass and more!
Learn more about the TIP here.
Santa Fe Trails: 1 Million Riders
The numbers say it all: public transit in Santa Fe is popular! Santa Fe Trails has transported more than 1 million riders in a single year through its two types of bus service: fixed-route service and on-demand service, which can be requested at any bus stop by calling 505-955-2001.
A strong public transportation system reduces emissions, the need for personal vehicles, and makes our city more accessible for everyone; 55% of the City’s unhoused population uses Santa Fe Trails to get around. Veterans, youth aged 18 or under, and Rail Runner passengers can all ride for free. Santa Fe Trails also offers a complimentary Paratransit program called Santa Fe Ride.
Santa Fe Trails has been fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) since 1992, making it the first all-CNG fleet in the nation. New CNG engines release almost no emissions and emit 20 times less nitrogen oxides, an air pollutant, than today’s diesel engines.
EV Charging Infrastructure
Electric vehicles contribute to sustainability by reducing emissions, improving air quality, and reducing the use of carbon-intensive fossil fuels. Santa Fe is working to make electric vehicles an option for everyone by installing publicly accessible charging stations. With grants from the 2020 New Mexico Legislature and New Mexico Environment Department, the City has installed electric vehicle charging stations at the Railyard Garage, the Sandoval Garage, the Convention Center Parking Garage, and the Southside Library. Thirty-five charging sports are also coming soon to the airport.
Check out the map to the left to find a charging station near you.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure
Hiking and Biking Trail network
In addition to urban multi-use trails, the City's Dale Ball and Connecting Trails and La Tierra Trails provide a network of over 50 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. These also include some multi-use trails for equestrians. The city's wilderness trails connect to other well-known trails in Santa Fe County including extensive trail systems in the Santa Fe National Forest and Galisteo Basin Preserve.
See the Santa Fe MPO's Bikeways and Trails Map for more info.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure
Santa Fe Routes
Santa Fe is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community, but there’s still work to be done to make traveling even safer and more accessible for people who walk or ride a bike.
Future plans include improvements to bike lanes and trails in the Santa Fe Metropolitan Bicycle Master Plan, which will make it easier for residents to reduce their reliance on cars while remaining protected. Santa Fe's Multimodal Transition Plan showcases additional strategies such as bike share programs and improving active transportation safety and connectivity. The TIP includes pedestrian improvements for the Acequia Trail and Tierra Contenta Trail.
To use the map to the left, click the arrow on the upper-left corner to show the area's future project priorities.