“It takes a place to create a community and a community to create a place.” Project for Public Spaces believes we all have the right to live in a great place while also making that place better.
Some of the factors that make up a public space are: public health, the local economy, urban equity and climate sustainability. A healthy public transportation system can make a positive contribution to all of these areas at an individual, as well as a collective level. In Rhode Island, we can count on the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) as well as the MBTA commuter rail.
(image source: providenceonline.com)
RIPTA mission: To provide safe, reliable and cost effective transit service with a skilled team of professionals responsive to our customers, the environment, and committed to transit excellence.
Here are five benefits of our public transportation systems.
Public transportation reduces air pollution:
Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. By moving people more efficiently, public transit produces less air pollution per passenger mile than a standard car carrying a single driver.
Increases fuel efficiency:
Along with reducing air pollution, public transportation is also more fuel efficient per passenger mile, which contributes to an overall decrease in the amount of energy necessary for transportation. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) states that public transportation in the US is responsible for saving 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually.
Frees up time:
Riding public transportation can free up a significant amount of time and attention as riders get to spend their transit time reading, working, resting, or being entertained instead of having to watch the road.
Results in a safer way to travel:
Taking the bus, train, light rail, or other transit options rather than driving a car, reduces the likelihood of being involved in accidents by 10 times safer per mile. This isn’t the case only in terms of the safety of the vehicles themselves, which are maintained much more regularly than a personal car, but also in terms of the driving habits and training of the operators.
Encourages healthier habits:
Just by walking to and from their transit stops and their final destinations, people who use public transportation are said to get more than three times the amount of physical activity per day than those who don’t.
On top of these five benefits healthy public transportations systems have on the community, they also contribute to both the economical and physical health of individuals, and provide not only jobs in the industry itself, but also a healthy business ecosystem by increasing mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life giving them transportation options to get to work, go to school, visit friends, or go to a doctor’s office. Public transportation also reduces traffic congestion which in turn reduces air pollution from idling vehicles, and helps riders avoid the stress that comes from daily driving in highly congested areas.
Blog post written by Gia Rivas, as part of Mayor Elorza’s Advanced Internship Pilot