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December 16, 2013
Keeping Toronto moving and healthy
  
Recommendations on how to fund transit expansion have been made by Metrolinx, Toronto City Council and, most recently, by the provincial government's Transit Panel. Toronto Public Health is on board with making transit expansion happen now. Expanding transit is not only good for the economy and the environment, but also for our health.

"A healthy city includes access to affordable, accessible transit options for everyone," said Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21 St. Paul's), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health. "Expanding transit is the equitable thing to do, as it increases timely options for people to get to work, school and access services and recreational opportunities in their communities. It's time to stop talking and start moving on transit expansion."

"Expanding transit in Toronto is a prescription for better health. Improving transit will provide immediate health benefits from pollution prevention and reduced impacts for those suffering from poor air quality," said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "Increasing transit options is also about building a healthier city. The more people walk, cycle and take transit, the lower our obesity rates will be."

A regional transit network would give many Ontarians a viable and healthy alternative to using cars:
- The health impacts of traffic-related air pollution cost nearly $2 billion a year.
- Physical inactivity and obesity cost the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area about $4 billion a year in direct health care costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity.

A comprehensive transportation system would greatly reduce these costs. More about Toronto Public Health's position is available in Prescription: A Healthy Transportation System at http://www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/pdf/hpp_movethegta5.pdf

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Kris Scheuer
Toronto Public Health
416-338-8020
kscheue@toronto.ca

 

 

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