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Transportation Health Impact Assessment Toolkit

Strategies for Health-Oriented Transportation Projects and Policies
Expand Public Transportation


Public transportation systems include buses, trolleys, trams, trains, light rail networks, and forms of rapid transit. A connected and wide-reaching public transportation network can reduce dependence on cars and reduce the amount of single occupancy vehicles on the roadway. People with physical, economic, or other limitations that impede their use of motor vehicles are disproportionately affected by inadequate public transportation systems. However, enhancing public transportation systems improves access for all people.

Strategies recommended in existing Transportation HIAs:

  • Pursue transit-oriented and mixed-use development projects near light rail or bus rapid transit projects.
  • Increase connectivity among neighborhoods and communities for all transportation modes.
  • Promote bicycling and walking to public transportation stations by providing sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and bicycle storage.
  • Address safety hazards for pedestrians and bicyclists at transit stations, bus stops, and city car-share locations.
  • Implement a coordinated fare and schedule system for existing transit.
  • Encourage employee-sponsored transit passes for employment locations near transit stops.

Resources

Articles

  • Besser, L. M. and A. L. Dannenberg (2005). "Walking to public transit: steps to help meet physical activity recommendations." Am J Prev Med 29(4): 273-280.

This national study found that Americans obtain daily bouts of physical activity by walking to and from transit. The median amount of time spent in commuting to transit on foot is 19 minutes, but people of lower socio-economic status and minorities walked further to transit stops. Rail users walked further than bus commuters.

This paper analyzed the most cost effective strategies likely to generate the largest number of cyclists accessing transit. Authors found that providing weather and security protection for bicycles at transit stations is more cost-effective than either taking a bike on public transit or bike share programs.

  • Lachapelle, U. and L. D. Frank (2009). "Transit and health: mode of transport, employer-sponsored public transit pass programs, and physical activity." J Public Health Policy 30 Suppl 1: S73-94.

In a study of walking to and from transit in Atlanta, GA, employee-sponsored transit passes increased both the number of public transit trips and the likelihood that people would engage in the recommended daily amount of physical activity.

The guide covers common pedestrian safety issues at transit stops, along with engineering measures to prevent these problems, and background information about pedestrians and transit, It also offers references to additional resources.

  • Pucher J, Buehler R. (2009). “Integrating bicycling and public transport in North America”. Journal of Public Transportation D, 9: 281–294.

This report presents national trends in bike-to-transit facilities as well as case studies from American and Canadian cities on bike-transit integration strategies.

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