Benefits of Transit
Transit supports economic development, protects the environment, and improves equity.
By TUG, Last Updated Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Transit supports our local economies, with research showing that local business revenues increase by $3.00 for every $1.00 invested in transit.
Businesses serviced by public transportation experience more employee reliability and less absenteeism and turnover. By ensuring that everyone can get to work, savings to social programs from transit use may be as high as $200 million per year.
Currently, for every dollar earned, the average household spends 18 cents on transportation, 98% of which is for buying, maintaining and operating cars, the largest source of household debt after mortgages. These costs rise further in areas with sprawl and few transportation services. For the poorest households, transportation costs can exceed 35% of income.
Riding transit is over 170 times safer than automobile travel.
Passenger cars and light trucks account for about 50 percent of air pollution nationwide—even higher in polluted cities. Transit makes our air cleaner by reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips; full buses are six times more fuel efficient than cars with one occupant.
Surfaces paved to accommodate more traffic result in increased urban runoff, which is responsible for 55 percent of environmentally impaired ocean shorelines, 46 percent of impaired estuary miles and 21 percent of impaired lake miles.
As many as 1,800 people a year are dying in Ontario from polluted air. Every summer, high smog levels cause hospital admissions due to respiratory illness to increase by 6% overall and by 15% in children. Asthmatic children are up to 131% more likely to suffer an attack on a bad air day.
Transit promotes greater social equality by ensuring that we all have access to the services we need.
Of current transit riders, over 20 percent would not have made the trip without transit, and nearly 70 percent do not have access to cars at the time their trip is made. Nearly 94 percent of public assistance recipients do not own cars and rely on public transportation.
Almost five million Canadians have disabilities. Nearly 35 percent say they are uninvolved in their communities, and the lack of effective transportation options contributes to an unemployment rate of approximately 75 percent.
By 2020, 40 percent of the Canadian population will be senior citizens; many will be unable to drive. In fact, one-fourth of today's 75+ age group does not drive.
More information on the benefits of transit can be found at:
- TUG Meeting, Nov. 17, 7:30 PM at Skydragon Centre
- TUG Meeting, Oct 27, 7:30 PM at Skydragon Centre
- City Rapid Transit Office LRT Update Meeting
- City Rapid Transit Community Update Meetings
- Meeting Archive...
- Introduction: A Vision for Transit
- News Release: A Vision for Transit in the 21st Century
- Presentation: A Vision for Transit in the 21st Century
- Survey: Share Your Vision for Transit
- Survey: View Results
- Vision Project Interim Report
- (Coming Soon)
- Transit Blueprint for Hamilton