Mass Transit Infrastructure and Urban Health

Mass transit is a critical infrastructure of urban environments worldwide. The benefits per traveler include lower emissions of air pollutants and energy usage, and high speeds and safety records relative to many other common modes of transportation that contribute to human health and safety. However, mass transit is vulnerable to intrusions that compromise its use and the realization of the important benefits it brings. This article explores the interplay of mass transit infrastructure and urban health, with consideration of the situation after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. The author defines the intrusions to which mass transit is vulnerable as including physical conditions, security, external environmental conditions, and equity. The physical condition of transit facilities overall has been given low ratings and large dollar estimates to maintain existing conditions as well as to bring on new improvements; however these investments in mass transit are many times lower than investments estimated for roadways. Security has become a growing issue, and numerous incidents point to the potential for threats to security in the US. External environmental conditions, including unexpected inundations of water and electric power outages, also make transit vulnerable. Equity issues pose constraints on the use of transit by those who cannot access it. The author concludes by suggesting proactive approaches to managing and reducing the consequences of external factors that can have a negative impact on mass transit.


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01013498
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 3 2005 7:48AM