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J Public Health Policy. 2009;30 Suppl 1:S73-94. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2008.52.

Transit and health: mode of transport, employer-sponsored public transit pass programs, and physical activity.

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  • 1School of Community & Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Increased provision of transit service and policy incentives that favor transit use can support a physically active lifestyle. We used the smartraq travel survey in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia (in 2001-2002) to assess whether transit and car trips were associated with meeting the recommended levels of physical activity by using walking as a means of transportation. Additionally, we assessed associations between walking and using an employer-sponsored public transit pass. We controlled for demographics, neighborhood density, presence of services near workplaces, distance from home to transit, and car availability in our sample of 4,156 completed surveys. Walking distances from origin to destination were derived by a geographical information system and categorized as: no walking, moderate walking, or meeting recommendation (walking>or=2.4 km (1.5 miles) a day, approximately>or=30 min). In a multinomial logistic regression controlling for other covariates, transit trips were associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 3.87 (confidence interval (CI) 95%, 2.93-5.11) of meeting recommendation. In a multinominal logistical regression controlling for other covariates, transit users were associated with meeting recommendation, OR 2.23 (CI 95%, 1.27-3.90).

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