Accessibility

Report: Communities with quality public transit drive less, live longer

Posted on August 11, 2010

A new American Public Transportation Association (APTA) report, which surveys current research, found that people who live in communities with high-quality public transportation drive less, exercise more, live longer and are generally healthier than residents of communities that lack quality public transit.

"Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits," a study conducted for APTA by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, aggregates the findings of several recent studies and concludes that people living in transit-oriented "smart growth" communities enjoy several health benefits not seen in other communities, including residents driving less, which exposes them to a lower risk of fatal vehicle accidents.

Such communities also have less pollution, because public transportation produces far less emissions per passenger mile than private automobiles. In addition, people who live near quality public transit are more likely to undertake regular physical activity than residents of automobile-dependent communities, according to the report.

The APTA report notes, transportation activity also plays a role in lessening an individual's risk in five of the 10 leading causes of reduced lifespan, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A recent CDC study evaluated causes of potential years of life lost, including cancer, heart disease, motor vehicle crashes and other causes. For example, "Pollution contributes to cancer and congenital anomalies [birth defects], and sedentary living ... contributes to heart disease and strokes," Litman wrote.

One solution is smart growth communities, according to Litman, who cited a 2003 study finding that urban residents had significantly lower violent death rates, whether from vehicle accidents or other causes.

Litman also noted that the 10 U.S. Counties with the "smartest," most transit-oriented growth have approximately one-fourth the traffic fatality rates as those counties with the most sprawling development.

Moreover, other recent studies have found that users of public transportation walk more than those who do not use public transit, regardless of income.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Paratransit firm in $400K dispute with Miami-Dade County

Transportation America’s 5-year, $208 million contract states the county will withhold the disputed amounts from the company while the dispute is resolved. But, transit officials say they are conceding to TA attorneys who claim the contract language is ambiguous and letting the company hold the cash.

Fla. paratransit subcontractor may get county help

Two Wheels sought help from Palm Beach County after it reached an agreement to terminate its contract with Metro Mobility, which had drawn complaints for poor and unreliable paratransit service.

Va. transit bus, motorized wheelchair collide

According to police, the Hampton Roads Transit bus driver saw the person traveling on the street in the direction of the bus and swerved at the last second to avoid a direct collision with the motorized wheelchair. The wheelchair struck the right side of the bus.

Winnipeg operator adds MV-1

The Winnipeg Taxi Board initially denied Sunshine Transit Services an accessible limousine license in 2012. With the signing of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, help from the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities and the Public Interest Law Center, Manitoba's one and only accessible limo license was granted to Sunshine Transit Services in August 2014.

Ga. agency changes paratransit eligibility process

The goal of the updated process is to ensure that only persons who meet the regulatory criteria are regarded as eligible for paratransit service, making this vital service more efficient. Eligibility is based on limitations to an individual’s abilities, not just the presence of a disability.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)



Please sign in or register to .    Close