Active transport and transit are modes of travel that involve human-powered movement, such as walking, cycling, or using public transportation. These modes of travel have many benefits for the city and its residents, compared to cars and driving, which have many disadvantages. In this essay, I will discuss some of the benefits of active transport and transit, and some of the drawbacks of cars and driving.
One of the main benefits of active transport and transit is that they promote physical activity and health. People who walk, bike, or take transit are likely to be more active in their leisure time, and meet the recommended levels of physical activity for health benefits. Higher levels of daily exercise help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and mental health problems 12. On the other hand, cars and driving are associated with sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and chronic diseases. Cars also emit harmful pollutants that affect the air quality and the respiratory health of the population 34.
Another benefit of active transport and transit is that they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts. Cars are one of the major sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change. These gases can also cause acid rain, which damages the soil, water, and vegetation. Active transport and transit use less or no fossil fuels, and therefore have lower carbon footprints. They also reduce noise pollution and traffic congestion, which improve the livability and attractiveness of the city 56.
A third benefit of active transport and transit is that they are more economical and equitable. Cars are very expensive to own, operate, and maintain. They also require a lot of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, parking lots, and gas stations, which cost money to build and repair. Active transport and transit are more affordable and accessible for people from different income levels and backgrounds. They also support local businesses and tourism, as people can explore the city more easily and conveniently 78.
In conclusion, active transport and transit have many advantages over cars and driving for the city and its residents. They enhance physical activity and health, reduce environmental impacts and emissions, and save money and resources. A city that prioritizes active transport and transit over cars and driving is a city that is healthier, greener, and more vibrant.