Better air quality
Air pollution caused by road transportation has an impact on people’s health. According to the Government of Canada, air pollution caused by human activity has been linked to 14,400 premature deaths every year (Health Canada, 2017). Therefore, fewer cars on the road equals better air quality for everyone.
Fewer road accidents
In 2018, there were 410 road accidents involving serious injuries, 68 of which were fatal; roughly two-thirds involved pedestrians and cyclists in the metropolitan area (SAAQ, 2016). Reducing automobile traffic while improving public transit services decreases the risk of road accidents. Better public transit services must also include designing safe spaces for cyclists and pedestrians.
Greater physical activity
Over the past few decades, people have become less active, a result of urban development chiefly designed to facilitate car use. If this trend continues, 21 to 26% of Québecers will be obese by 20304. In Québec, costs due to obesity-related medication and disabilities were estimated at $1.45 billion in 20115.
Nearly 89% of trips using public transit in the metropolitan area begin or end with walking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to offset the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle on their health. Cycling, walking or public transit as a main mode of transportation can contribute to achieving this goal.
Public and active transportation can reduce the risk of road accidents, offset the negative impact of physical inactivity on our health and help reduce air pollution.