Intro background


Transportation refers to the form and function of transportation systems, including private vehicles, public transportation, and walking and biking infrastructure. Transportation activities made up 26% of Columbia’s GHG emissions in 2016. Privately-owned passenger vehicles account for the majority of these emissions.

Columbia’s CAAP has established two goals for improving the sustainability of its transportation system: 

            1. Reduce vehicle miles traveled.
            2. Increase the fuel economy of vehicles.

Transportation & Climate Change

Climate Impacts on the Transportation System

Climate change may lead to more intense rain events and flooding, affecting road conditions in Columbia. Floods could temporarily block roadways and trails. Warmer temperatures and extreme heat may weaken pavement and require more maintenance. Columbia residents who rely on walking or biking may be more exposed to extreme heat and poor air quality. Actions in the plan seek to decrease the paved areas and increase vegetated areas near pedestrian and bike routes as well as improve shading at transit stops, improve health and safety outcomes, and promote the use of low-carbon transportation options.



Transportation & Climate Change

GHG Emissions from Transportation

Transportation activities made up 26% of Columbia’s GHG inventory in 2021. Local, on-road transportation of passengers in privately-owned vehicles account for the majority of these emissions in Columbia. The City has set targets to reduce GHG emissions by 42% by 2035 and 50% by 2050.

How We Get Around Columbia

Columbia’s residents mostly drive alone in private vehicles to get to and from work or school. Columbia’s CAAP has identified targets and supporting actions to promote biking, walking and public transportation options available in the city. Click on the legend below the graph to explore the data in more detail.

*From 2012-2016 ACS values do not total to 100%

How We Get Around Columbia

Biking & Walking

How we get around in our community influences the environment and our health. The City of Columbia currently has over 141 miles of painted bike lanes and 62 trail system miles.

Most trips in town are less than two miles, which making them accessible for cycling. Travelling at an easy pace, you can arrive to most local destinations in about 10 minutes, with no parking hassles. By cycling more and driving less you can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air and water pollution, create safer streets for kids, support a quieter neighborhood, lessen the need for expensive road repair, and create a friendlier environment to live in. Start with a bike!

Bike and Walk scores are third-party derived scores used to measure how easy, safe and convenient trips by bike or walking are in a location. In addition to factors like terrain, sidewalks and trails, the density of housing and amenities are used to determine scores.
#Walk and Bike Scores


How We Get Around Columbia

Walk Score

Columbia has an average walk score of 30 out of 100, with some neighborhoods scoring far higher. Explore the data.



How We Get Around Columbia

Bike Score

The map to the left shows the bike scores across Columbia. The City has an average score of 37 out of 100. Check out the data.




Did You Know?

The people of Columbia have been walking and biking more! Since 2007, during weekday peak hours, 52% more people have been walking and 105% more have been cycling. Parks and Recreation, Transit and Public Works provide trails, bike lanes and other resources to make these trips easier, more convenient and safer.

Learn About Your Options

How We Get Around Columbia

What's Next for Transportation in Columbia?

Expanding public transit and building bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure will help reduce GHG emissions by enabling alternative forms of transit. This includes funding public transit expansion and prioritizing walking and biking infrastructure.  

Building sidewalks, bike-lanes, crosswalks and other infrastructure can fill connectivity gaps identified in City transit plans. When people do need to travel in vehicles, Columbia can help encourage low emissions vehicles. GoCOMO, Columbia’s transit system uses nine electric buses. City fleets can add electric and hybrid vehicles and the City can encourage private adoption of zero-emission vehicles by increasing the number of electric charging stations in public parking areas.


Municipal Fleet

Municipal Transportation Emissions

City fleet and transit vehicles make up 9% of the City’s municipal GHG emissions. In an effort to lead by example, the CAAP prioritizes the replacement of City fleet vehicles and buses with electric and hybrid options at the time of replacement and requires emissions standards, testing and biofuel preference for any combustion vehicles remaining in the fleet.


Be Part of the Solution!

Find out how easy it is to get around without a car! Biking and walking are great forms of exercise and also help reduce our emissions.

You can bike and bus at the same time.
Learn about our bike routes.
Learn about how bike-friendly Columbia is.