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Active Transportation and Public Transit

Active transportation (AT) is any form of human powered transportation that gets you to and from work, school, shopping, appointments, recreation, visiting friends, etc. AT includes the use of public transit such as bus, bus rapid transit, subway, train, light rail transit, because every trip begins and / or ends with a walk or a bike ride. All City of London buses have bike racks for those who cycle and want to place their bike on the bus for part of their journey.

 

Using public transit has numerous benefits including:1,2,3,4,5

Health
Individuals who use public transit are more physically active, have higher fitness levels, better cardio-respiratory health, reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, reduced cancer risk as well as stronger muscles and bones. Being physically active can also improve mental health by boosting self-esteem and reducing the incidence of stress, depression and other mental health conditions.

Safety
Motor vehicle collisions are responsible for unnecessary injuries and deaths of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Using public transit instead of a personal motor vehicle is one of several ways to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety. Check out the City of London’s London Road Safety Strategy (PDF) and Vision Zero.

Environment
When more people use public transit instead of a personal motor vehicle, automobile exhaust as well as greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. This is particularly true for electric powered transit vehicles. Improved air quality also helps to reduce associated cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and deaths.

Economic
The cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle is significant especially when considering that the average vehicle sits unused much of the time. The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) (PDF) determines the cost of owning and operating a motor vehicle to be approximately $10,000 a year (includes depreciation) for an average compact to mid sized car depending on the annual mileage. Riding the bus instead of driving a car can result in substantial cost savings. A London Transit Commission Citipass bus pass costs less than $1000 a year.

Find out what your annual driving costs are by using the CAA calculator.

Equity
Using public transit can be an effective means of travel that provides equitable access to work, school, and various services for those who don’t have access to a personal motor vehicle for various reasons:

  • health
  • age
  • ability
  • economic
  • personal choice

Shift

London’s Rapid Transit initiative

Have you heard about London’s Rapid Transit initiative called Shift?

Learn more

 
Give Active Transportation A Go! Logo

 

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Infographic - Our City and Transportation

Download (PDF)
Source: City of London, Canada

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Active Commuting

Want to take the bus to work? Try active commuting! Leave the car behind – get some exercise, help the environment and save money.


Community Design and Public Transit

Public transit as a mode of AT is supported by healthy community design which influences transportation choices.


Get Riding!

The London Transit Commission (LTC) ridership continues to grow. On a typical day, 12.5% of City of London residents use London Transit.6 In 2016, ridership continued to grow and was up by 1% over 2015 levels.7

Tips to get started:

  1. Use the LTC website to plan your trip and determine your travel time. View / print the bus schedule. If you still need help call the customer service line: 519-451-1347.
  2. Decide which payment is best for you - bus pass, tickets or exact cash. You can pay with exact cash, purchase bus tickets or buy a monthly bus pass. You can purchase these at many retailer locations and the LTC offices (150 Dundas Street and 450 Highbury Ave N). For more information, please view the London Transit Fares to decide which method is best for you.
  3. Keep up-to-date on any road closures, route changes, and bus delays by checking the Routes and Schedules.
 
Date of creation: May 15, 2015
Last modified on: October 5, 2018
 

References

1Litman, Todd. (2016). Evaluating Public Transportation Health Benefits, 25 November, 2016. Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.vtpi.org/tran_health.pdf
2World Health Organization. (2017). Towards More Physical Activity: Transforming Public Spaces to Promote Physical Activity. WHO & the European Commission. Retrieved on September 25, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/353043/2017_WHO_Report_FINAL_WEB.pdf?ua=1
3Reiner,M., Niermann, C.,Jekauc, D., Woll, A. Long-term health benefits of physical activity – systematic review of longitudinal studies. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:813. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1471-2458-13-813?site=bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com
4Daniel, K. & Perrotta, K. (2017). Prescribing Active Travel for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet: A Toolkit for Health Professionals. Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE). Retrieved on September 25, 2018. Retrieved from
https://res.cloudinary.com/capeacme/image/upload/v1522366665/2.Report_-_Prescribing_Active_Travel_for_Healthy_People_and_a_Healthy_Planet_-_A_Toolkit_for_Health_Professionals.pdf
5Canadian Automobile Association. (2013). Driving Costs: 2013 Edition. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
https://www.caa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CAA_Driving_Cost_English_2013_web.pdf
6City of London. (2013). A New Mobility Transportation Master Plan for London – 2030 Transportation Master Plan: SmartMoves, Final Report: Volume 2. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.london.ca/residents/Roads-Transportation/Transportation-Planning/Documents/RPT-2013-05-16-TMP-2030-SmartMoves-Volume-2-60114661-complet.pdf
7London Transit (2017). Annual Report 2016. Retrieved on January 19, 2018. Retrieved from
http://www.londontransit.ca/annual-reports/2016-annual-report/