Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Residents Who Live Near Public Transportation Live Healthier, Longer Lives

A recent study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that people who live in communities with public transportation drive less, exercise more, live longer, and are generally healthier than residents of communities that lack access to quality transit. These communities also benefit from reduced pollution as transit produces fewer harmful emissions than single occupant vehicle travel.

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 drive less, exposing 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.

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