Transit = Healthier Communities: Voters to Decide in November on Plan
On June 7, the Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt the proposed Wake County Transit Plan and to authorize placing a half-cent local sales tax referendum on the ballot this November. The Transit Plan will bring more bus routes and trains, including a 37-mile commuter rail line, to Wake County if voters approve the tax.
AHA Director Sara Merz spoke about the significant public health benefits of transit before the Commissioners voted. Citing research from the American Public Transportation Association, she shared that “people who live or work in communities with high quality public transportation tend to drive significantly less and walk and bike more than they would in more automobile-oriented areas. This reduces traffic crashes and pollution emissions, increases physical fitness and mental health, and transit also improves access to medical care and healthy food.”
Also, transit advances the priorities identified in the ongoing Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in Wake County, as well as the CHNA completed 3 years ago.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends that adults average at least 22 daily minutes of moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, to stay fit and healthy. Although less than half of American adults achieve this target, most public transportation passengers do, walking between transit stops.
Kudos and thanks to the County Board and staff, all the municipal leaders, WakeUP Wake County and the Regional Transportation Alliance Business Coalition for supporting health through transit in Wake.