Definition and Benefits
The term “Active Transportation” refers to any form of travel that is self-propelled, usually walking, cycling, in-line skating, using a wheelchair, or riding a skateboard. Active Transportation also includes cross-country skiing, canoeing and kayaking.
There are social, economic and environmental benefits to engaging in Active Transportation:
- Reduced vehicle maintenance costs, such as fuel, maintenance and insurance costs
- Reduced vehicle traffic on the road, resulting in safer streets for everyone
- Reduced incidence of cardiac disease as a result of physical activity
- Increased overall physical health, which results in fewer sick days taken by employees
- Reduced stress and increased emotional health, resulting in higher productivity in the workplace
- Reduced traffic congestion and wear on roads and other transportation infrastructure, which reduces the costs associated with repair and maintenance
- Reduced health care costs associated with treating cardiac diseases, the incidence of which goes down with increased physical activity
- Increased bicycle tourism and bicycle sales and manufacturing, which has a positive economic impact
- Increased property value and retail sales along trails and in pedestrian friendly areas
- Reduced costs associated with treating air and water pollution
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduced toxic run-off and water pollution
- Reduced noise and air pollution
Getting Around Actively Everyday
- Think about the trips you make daily to go to work or school, or for leisure. Which ones can you make without a vehicle? For trips of 5 km or less, it is actually more efficient to use your bicycle.
- Tune your bicycle and invest in the proper clothing and footwear to make active transportation more enjoyable, comfortable, and safer.
- Invest in a backpack or bicycle panniers and use active transportation to run errands or go shopping.
- Schedule days during your work week that you will use active transportation to get to work
- Choose leisure activities that you can access using active transportation.
- Incorporate active transportation into family activities. Instead of driving to a park for a family outing, why not bicycle or walk?