Living Near Public Transportation May Lengthen Your Life

The American Public Transportation Association released “Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits,” a comprehensive survey of recent research on smart growth communities, that argues people who live near high-quality public transportation ”drive less, exercise more, and live longer, and are generally healthier than residents of communities without high-quality public transportation.” The Victoria Transport Policy Institute and Todd Litman conducted the survey of existing research studies and concluded that living in communities with public transit “provides large health benefits.”

APTA president William Millar said: “Public transportation enhances the overall quality of life of an individual and a community. 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.” The survey authors contend: “Such communities also have less pollution because public transportation produces far less emissions per passenger mile than private automobiles.”

A number of the 10 leading causes of reduced lifespan identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are transportation-related. Cancer and heart disease can be linked to transportation. The report authors sum-up: “Pollution contributes to cancer and congenital anomalies ...