1. Edwards J. Public transit, obesity, and medical costs: assessing the magnitudes. Preventive Medicine. 2008;46:14-21.
2. MacDonald JM et al. The effect of light rail transit on body mass index and physical activity. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2010; 39(2):105-112.
Commute Mode Share
Commute mode share indicates how people choose to get to work. The Commute Mode Share indicator measures how many neighborhood residents commute to work via public transit, walking, biking, or carpool. These alternatives to driving alone help to combat congestion which leads to better air quality. In Birmingham, the average commuter wastes 32 hours per year in traffic and 21 gallons of fuel due to congestion. A byproduct is an increase in ground-level ozone and particle pollution, which is harmful to health, especially for children, the elderly, outdoor workers and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma. This further underscores the importance of alternative commutes, especially when regular transit riders are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines and have lower rates of obesity than non-transit riders as they walk or bike to transportation hubs, and carpool riders are more likely to walk or bike for non-commute trips during the day. Listed under the Transportation Services domain, the Commute Mode Share indicator is also tied to the Neighborhood Characteristics, Economic Health, Health Systems and Public Safety, and Employment Opportunities domains. Data is available from the U.S. Census.