A Healthy Look at Transit

November 18, 2015

TDM Program Manager Andrea Kaufman Robbins
TDM Program Manager Andrea Kaufman Robbins

Did you know that if one employee starts riding transit instead of driving alone to work they will reduce about 8,000 pounds of CO2 emissions every year? You might ask yourself, “What exactly does that look like?” UrbanTrans Planning Consultant Matt Kaufman came up with this visual analogy for us . . . 8,000 pounds of CO2 is more emissions than the weight of an African forest elephant. It’s actually about 1.3 elephants. People who start taking the bus also tend to lose weight. Driving is strongly associated with the increased risk of heart attack, so taking the bus can also reduce the risk of having a heart attack.

The Victoria Policy Institute and the American Public Transportation Association explored the health impacts of transit, and here is what they found: Public transit users are more active. Individuals who use public transportation, get more than three times the amount of physical activity per day, than those who don’t (approximately 19 minutes, rather than six minutes) by walking to stops and final destinations. The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends 22 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. Walking to and from the bus is an easy way to accomplish this.

Commuting Solutions has a transportation demand management program in place that will reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 27,000 peak trips per day . . . that’s a lot of African elephants, more than 720!


Andrea Kaufman Robbins

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