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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- personal choice
London’s Rapid Transit initiative
Have you heard about London’s Rapid Transit initiative called Shift?