A Health Impact Assessment of Proposed Public Transit Service Cuts and Fare Increases in Boston, Massachusetts

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A Health Impact Assessment of Proposed Public Transit Service Cuts and Fare Increases in Boston, Massachusetts

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Title: A Health Impact Assessment of Proposed Public Transit Service Cuts and Fare Increases in Boston, Massachusetts
Author: James, Peter; Ito, Katherine; Buonocore, Jonathan James; Levy, Jonathan Ian; Arcaya, Mariana C

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Citation: James, Peter, Katherine Ito, Jonathan James Buonocore, Jonathan Ian Levy, and Mariana C. Arcaya. 2014. "A Health Impact Assessment of Proposed Public Transit Service Cuts and Fare Increases in Boston, Massachusetts." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(8), 8010-8024.
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Abstract: Transportation decisions have health consequences that are often not incorporated into policy-making processes. Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a process that can be used to evaluate health effects of transportation policy. We present a rapid HIA evaluating health and economic effects of proposed fare increases and service cuts to Boston, Massachusetts’ public transit system. We used transportation modeling in concert with tools allowing for quantification and monetization of multiple pathways. We estimated health and economic costs of proposed transit system changes to be hundreds of millions of dollars per year, exceeding the budget gap the transit authority was required to close. Significant health pathways included crashes, air pollution, and physical activity. The HIA enabled stakeholders to advocate for more modest fare increases and service cuts, which were eventually adopted. This HIA was among the first to quantify and monetize multiple pathways linking transportation decisions with health and economic outcomes, using approaches that could be applied in different settings. Including health costs in transportation decisions can lead to policy choices with both economic and public health benefits.
Published Version: doi:10.3390/ijerph110808010
Other Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25105550
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:12329273
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