Continuing with my theme this week of the weight of public transit users, here’s some good news – finally!
A study last year “found that construction of a light-rail system (LRT) resulted in
increased physical activity (walking) and subsequent weight loss by
people served by the LRT.”
Using two surveys, one collecting data prior to the completion of an LRT
in Charlotte, North Carolina, the second after completion,
investigators found that using light rail for commuting was associated
with reductions in body mass index (BMI) over time. Specifically, LRT
reduced BMI by an average of 1.18 kg/m2 compared to non-LRT users in the
same area over a 12-18 month follow-up period. This is equivalent to a
relative weight loss of 6.45 lbs for a person who is 5’5. LRT users were
also 81% less likely to become obese over time.
So, let’s just keep using mass transit and all my concerns about CTA riders spilling out of the “bucket seats” on the new Series 5000 cars may become moot.