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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SafeTREC - UCTC Seminar: An Innovative Performance Based Approach to the Health Impacts of Transit Investments

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The epidemic of obesity and increased health care costs is a growing issue that is no longer confined to the public health field. Transportation agencies have begun to examine the impact of projects on public health. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission conducted a first of its kind benefit cost analysis of projects to be considered in the long range Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). This performance assessment of transportation investments was conducted to assess the impacts of projects on levels of transit and walking and biking. Bay Area residents that received increases in active transportation from specific transportation investments and resulted in meeting or exceeding the U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation of approximately 30 minutes daily had a health care savings compared to inactive residents. The benefits of active transportation range from $55 million for investments in bicycle infrastructure projects to $500,000 for transit projects where the increase in bike to transit contribute to reduced health care costs and lost productivity.

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