Welcome to the  California Energy Almanac

Overview of Transportation Energy

Page updated: 7/1/2008

classic woody station wagon in Santa Barbara with USS Reagan in background from iStockPhoto- iStock_000000859661XSmall

Californians love their cars. Unfortunately, many prefer to drive a few blocks to the grocery store than to walk. Our urban sprawl is a consequence of low transportation fuel prices and cheap land.

But Californians are thinking twice about what they're driving and how they're driving. With the record high gasolinbe prices, there is an increased demand for hybrid vehicles and for vehicles using alternative fuels.

California's transportation system includes 33.5 million registered vehicles (cars, trucks, trailers, and motorcycles) and almost 170,000 miles of roads maintained by local, state and federal governments. A total of 2,453 miles are U.S. Interstate freeways. The state's motor vehicle fleet includes private passenger cars as well as buses, motorcycles, and light- and heavy-duty trucks, which are used for passenger and freight movement respectively. In addition to road transportation, the state has 5,791 miles of Class 1 railroad track, 286 miles of inland waterways and 257 airports, 42 of which are certified for air carrier operations. {Source: U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics - www.bts.gov}

Key Statistics on Vehicles and Transportation Fuels in California


Vehicles (As of 12/31/2007)

  • Total registered vehicles in California: 33,539,486
  • Total registered motor vehicles in California: 30,902,225
  • Total registered automobiles in Claifornia: 22,283,340
  • Total registered trucks in California: 7,805,754
  • Total registered trailers in California: 2,637,261
  • Total registerd motorcycles in California: 789,192

Source: Calif. Department of Motor Vehicles, Forecasting Unit, March 2008


Fuel Use 2007

  • Taxable Gasoline Sales (Includes Aviation Gasoline): 15,672,334,029 gallons
  • Decrease from previous year: 153 million gallons
  • Taxable Aviation Gasoline Sales: 27,801,567 gallons
  • Taxable Diesel Fuel: 3,075,583,325 gallons
  • Taxable Jet Fuel: 149,799,540 gallons

Source: California Board of Equalization, Special Taxes Department Fuel Taxes Division, June 2008


Travel 2006

  • Total Roadway Travel: 329.8 billion miles
  • State Highway Travel: 185.0 billion miles
  • Local Roadway Travel: 144.8 billion miles
  • Interstate Highway Travel: 88.8 billion miles

  • Average Commute Time: 26.8 minutes
  • Commute by Car Along: 72.9 %
  • Commute by Car / Vanpool: 12.4%
  • Commute by Public Transit: 4.9%
  • Commute by Bicycle and Walking: 4.8%

  • Intercity Rail (AMTRAK): 2.67 million passengers
  • Bus: 955.2 million passengers
  • Rail, Street Car, Trolley: 377.8 million passengers

Source: CalTrans, Division of Transportation System Information, Data Integration and Reporting Branch, June 2008. Note: 2006 is latest year available on line.


Highways and Roads 2006

  • State Highways: 15,243 miles
  • Other Public Roads: 155,056 miles
  • Total All Public Roads: 170,297 miles
  • Number of Bridges: 24,853

Source: CalTrans, Division of Transportation System Information, Data Integration and Reporting Branch, June 2008. Note: 2006 is latest year available on line.


Service Stations in California

  • Number of retail gasoline/service stations: Approximately 9,700
  • Statewide average amount of fuel dispensed by each station per day: 4,400 gallons
  • Make-up of the California retail fuel market:
    • 10% of retailers are refiner-owned and operated (O & O).
    • 46% are major leased dealers.
    • 26% are branded independents.
    • 18% are un-branded independents.