Why Public Transport Is A Healthy Alternative To Private Travel

Why Public Transport Is A Healthy Alternative To Private Travel

The advantages of public transportation over private travel are many. Alongside being cost-effective, convenient, and a more environmentally conscious method of transit, public transportation is also beneficial for health. In this article, we’ll be exploring the importance of public transport as a healthy way of travel, alongside discussing the physical and mental health benefits this lifestyle promises.

The APTA Study

Many studies have found that efficient public transport systems significantly improve the overall life quality and health of local communities. One such study was conducted by the American Public Transportation Association, which found that public transit systems provide many large-scale but often overlooked health advantages. Some of the key findings of this study are:

  • High-quality public transportation supported increased physical fitness, improved mental health, and increased affordability, lessening the financial burden on low-income households.
  • Most public transportation users achieve the recommended amount of exercise (at least 22 minutes of brisk walking) while walking to and from bus stops and stations, as opposed to private transport users.
  • As public transit cuts back on the traffic of cars in the streets, it is also a much safer method of travel. The study found that public transit tends to have a lower fatality rate per passenger-mile than automobile travel under the same conditions, providing substantial safety benefits.

The Key To Better Quality Of Life

Doctors and medical practitioners have long defined three of the main secrets to good health, namely breathing good quality air, being physically active, and avoiding high stress. Here’s some good news- public transportation supports all three!

The American Heart Association has conducted a study with regards to the link between physical health and public transit. They found that people who take public transit are 27% percent less likely to have high blood pressure, 44% less likely to be overweight, and 34% percent less likely to have diabetes- simply by the additional few minutes of exercise they get daily!

Another way public transit is helpful is how it provides users with increased mobility and access to services and essential needs. A Victoria Transport Policy Institute survey found that non-drivers without access to public transit take 15% fewer trips to the doctor, 59% fewer shopping trips and restaurant visits, and 65% fewer trips for social, family, and religious activities. For these non-drivers, especially senior citizens and differently-abled individuals, public transit is an absolute necessity in providing them increased mobility and access to essential services such as healthcare, banking, education, and more.

A brochure by the American Public Transportation Association [APTA] found that up to30% of carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced simply by eliminating one car! Public transportation can also reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by a staggering 37 million metric tons annually. If we as individuals make the conscious choice to switch over to public transport, our collective efforts will help ensure that we not only reduce our footprint on the planet, but also contribute to the betterment of our community’s health as a whole.



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