Public Health Report: Transportation Priorities and Investment for a Healthy Toronto
Toronto Public Health submitted a report to the Board of Health entitled Transportation Priorities and Investment for a Healthy Toronto on April 29. The report requests that the Board recommend revenue tools for The Big Move that would promote active transportation. While arguments have been made for the economic and environmental benefits of an expanded rapid transit system in the GTHA, the report presents the public health benefits that may come from The Big Move.
Transportation funding as a health issue:
The report asks the Board of Health to recommend that the Premier of Ontario, as well as the Minister of Transportation, Metrolinx and a list of non-profits and associations in the region, endorse funding tools that promote active transportation including walking and cycling. Toronto Public Health suggests revenue tools such as a fuel tax, road toll or parking levy as a way to discourage driving and promote public transit and active transportation options.
The report further states that expanded transit in neighbourhoods under-served by the current system would benefit from increased access to employment opportunities, health services and healthy food. Included in the recommendations is the provision that transit should remain affordable for low-income earners and increase services in low-income areas. The health benefits of expanded transit and active transportation options outlined in the report includes lower rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Read the full report here.