Equitable Transit is Essential for Healthy Prosperous Communities
Using public mass transit decreases the amount of pollution that enters our air, water, and soils in our neighborhoods that contributes to asthma, cancers, and other disabling medical issues. Exhaust from automobiles is toxic. Communities that design and use robust public transportation systems have reduced exposure to many of the chemicals that are produced in the making, running, and disposing of cars that harm the health of our children, elderly, and community members.
Use of natural and synthetic rubber tires has led to mass deforestation. It takes 7-22 gallons of oil to make one tire!
People who use public transportation get over three times more physical activity compared to people that drive. Walking and biking to local stops and stations gets people moving and healthy!
Our Access to Opportunity:
Equitable robust public transportation systems provide a majority of community members with easy, consistent, frequent access to key destinations such as work, local schools, colleges and universities, or to connections, like Caltrain, that allow people to get to work in nearby communities where additional job opportunities may exist.
Our Social, Cultural, and Recreational Lives:
Reliable mass transit allows members of our community to get to events without relying on a car. Taking mass transit, like electric light rail, promotes interactions and cohesion within the community.
For some members of our community, driving isn’t an option. Many of our disabled and elderly, our youth, and those of us with limited incomes may want independence. Without a robust public transit system, these community members are forced to be dependent on others for transportation to work, school, shopping, appointments, and social gatherings. A well-designed public transit system provides more people independence. Members of the community who may not have the ability, funds, or skills to drive rely on safe, reliable and well-designed public transit.
Our Household Financial Health:
The expense of buying and running a car is high. Insurance, gas, maintenance, repairs, and DMV fees all add up. Our households can save an average $10,000 a year by having one less car and using public transportation instead! This is only possible if the quality of the public transportation meets the needs of the people in the household. Communities that have well-designed public transit systems ensure that their members do not need to own a personal vehicle. Families can reduce the number of vehicles they own and with that they save significant money.
Our Community Financial Health:
The American Public Transportation Association measured the impact of public transportation and found that every $1 Invested in public transportation results in a $4 economic return back to the community and that for every $1 billion invested it generates around 50,700 jobs! Investing in public transportation, particularly a local light rail system and busses that feed into that system, increase the income of local businesses and workers, and increases the prosperity of neighborhoods.
Our Safe Streets:
Well-designed public transportation reduces traffic in our neighborhoods and makes them safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Injury or death from accidents is also far less for train and bus passengers than for people using personal vehicles.
“A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats.”
-Quote used by John F. Kennedy