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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

8/13/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Quality public transportation = quality of life, APTA report says


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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, according to a report issued by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
 
Conducted for APTA by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, “Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits” aggregates the findings of several recent studies and concludes that people living in transit-oriented “smart growth” communities enjoy several health benefits not attainable in other communities, including less driving, exposing residents 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, the study found. In addition, people who live near quality public transit are more likely to undertake regular physical activity than residents of automobile-dependent communities.
 
Moreover, 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), according to the report.
 
“Public transportation enhances the overall quality of life of an individual and a community,” said APTA President William Millar in a prepared statement. “Use of public transit simply means that you walk more, which increases fitness levels and leads to healthier citizens.  More importantly, increasing use of public transit may be the most effective traffic safety counter measure a community can employ.”
 
 


 



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