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The Advantages of Alternative Transportation For Communities and Cities

Biking in Westwood Village

Walking, biking, carpooling, and public transit all come with benefits – for people and the places where they live, go to school, and work.

Arriving in the not-so-distant future, LA Metro's Purple (D Line) Extension to Westwood and UCLA will show how transformative a transit project can be: for Bruins, LA commuters, and all the locations between DTLA and the Westside, where this high-speed rail line will run.

Sustainable transportation impacts jobs, the economy, and quality of life. Here’s how.

Job Creation

Developing greener alternatives to personal vehicles, like installing bicycle infrastructure or expanding mass transit, translates to job opportunities. Increasing sustainable transportation options requires employing people in design, manufacturing, construction, technology, and other fields.

Economic Boost

Evidence exists suggesting that in cities where people can easily walk and bike, businesses do well. A University of California study from 2015 reported that cities whose residents ride bikes have increased economic growth and productivity.

Switching from driving to bicycling also saves cities money. When looking at the benefits of roadway cost savings, traffic safety improvements, energy conservation, and more, fewer car trips results in savings for each mile. Importantly, as emissions go down, cities become healthier and safer, increasing their attractiveness to potential residents and visitors. 

Emits Less Pollution

Transportation accounts for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in California, with almost 30% of those harmful emissions coming from passenger vehicles.

Walking is by far the best alternative transportation, emitting zero emissions, with bicycling not far behind.

Buses, subways, and trains move more people with fewer vehicles, producing significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than private vehicles.

And in LA County, some of the public transit agencies like LA Metro, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Culver CityBus, and Long Beach Transit are going fully electric, eliminating emissions.

Promotes Health

Because sustainable transportation contributes to improved air quality, it also supports community health. Some Angelenos live in areas with concerning air pollution levels. When more commuters go greener, pollution levels plunge, helping everyone breathe easier.

Active transportation provides exercise, also improving individual and public health by reducing medical care expenses.

Decreases Congestion

Takings cars off the road improves the flow of traffic. When people choose sustainable transportation over driving themselves traffic congestion lessens. 

Do right by your community and pledge below to travel by foot, pedal power, share the ride, or hop on public transit to be entered to win a prize like a UCLA Store, Alfred Coffee, Bluestone Lane, or Primo's Donuts gift card.

Pledge Form


Photo credit: Matthew Brush/UCLA Magazine