Transportation Referendum & Healthy Living Fact Sheet

How can active transportation (transit, cycling, walking) promote healthy living?

Active transportation reduces risk for chronic disease.

  • Physical inactivity and air pollution are risk factors for chronic diseases – such as diabetes, cancer and heart and lung diseases.

Active transportation promotes physical activity.

  • A person who uses transit is estimated to walk between 1 – 1.3km per day and is 3 times more likely to meet the guidelines for physical activity.[ii]
  • According to Vancouver Coastal Health data, Metro Vancouver residents that take transit are 27% less likely to report being overweight or obese, and those who bike or walk are 45% less likely.

Active transportation improves air quality.

  • There are 680 deaths each year in Metro Vancouver that can be attributed to air pollution.
  • Reductions in air pollution have been shown to extend life expectancy.

Active transportation decreases traffic-related injuries.

  • There is a direct connection between vehicle mileage and per capita traffic fatalities.

Active transportation supports the health of people on low incomes.

  • Transit helps people get to work and keep jobs. One study found that low-skilled workers were 30% more likely to have a job and to be working more than 30 hours per week when their community was served by public transit.[iv]
  • Disadvantaged groups, who are at a higher risk for disease, have a better chance to be healthy when they have transit access to employment, education, health services, social and recreational opportunities.

Metro Vancouver’s Transit and Transportation Referendum

  • Metro Vancouver’s population will increase by 1 million over the next 25 years – transportation systems are needed to move the growing population and avoid gridlock.
  • The sales tax is estimated to cost the average household just $125/year, or just ₵35/day.
  • From March 16 to May 29, 2015, vote YES to support a 0.5% increase in B.C.’s sales tax to fund $7.5B in transit, road and bike projects.


[i] British Columbia. Office of the Provincial Health Officer. Investing in prevention: improving health and creating sustainability: the Provincial Health Officer’s special report., August, 2010

[ii] Canadian Urban Transit Association. Economic Impact of Transit Investment in Canada: A National Survey.(2010)

 [iii] BC Lung Association. BC State of the Air Report 2014

[iv] BC Recreation and Parks Association. (2009). Physical Activity and Transportation Benefits of Walkable Approaches to Community Design in British Columbia. Available at

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