Statement: Transportation and climate program offers ticket to a healthier future for Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

Media Contacts
Ethan Evans

U.S. PIRG

BOSTON –  Harvard researchers released a study Tuesday showing that a proposed region-wide program to reduce Northeast and Mid-Atlantic transportation emissions will have significant public health benefits. The prospective program, known as the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), would create an enforceable and mandatory limit on transportation pollution and would generate revenue for investment in clean transit and pedestrian infrastructure.

The study, released by the Transportation, Equity, Climate and Health (TRECH) Project at the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, indicated the potential savings in medical costs outweighed the price of the TCI program. Improved air quality and increased access to active mobility options, such as walking and biking, would lead to the significantly improved expected health outcomes over the next decade, including nearly 5,000 fewer childhood asthma cases and 1,000 prevented deaths.

Ethan Evans, U.S. PIRG Transportation Campaign associate, issued the following statement:

“Our fossil-fuel-based, car-centric transportation system is making us sick. We need to break free from the transportation status quo, where tailpipe pollution clouds the air on gridlocked streets. By directly reducing pollution and raising money for transit, walking, biking and transportation electrification, TCI could be our ticket to a healthier future.

The Harvard study clearly shows TCI is best for public health. The healthcare savings alone already cover the cost of the program. But even more important, TCI will mean that fewer kids will suffer from asthma, fewer people will die unnecessarily early, and we will all have better options for getting around. The writing on the wall is abundantly clear: TCI pays for itself — not only on the balance sheet but also in the well-being of our citizens.”

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