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Public transportation a health benefit for local communities

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KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. -- Kittitas health leaders are drawing attention to the health benefits of public transportation as the community steadily grows.

"We're a county that's growing really quickly," said Kasey Knutson of Kittitas County Public Health.

And with growth comes more traffic and cars on the road.

"More cars on the road is definitely going to have an impact on whether people are going to see this as a walkable or bikeable community," said Knutson.

Especially for those who take public transportation.

Public transportation systems impact the quality of life and health of the communities they serve, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

"We're a fairly rural community still," said Knutson. "If someone's using public transportation regularly then they're walking or biking to that location, so they're getting regular physical activity."

Increased physical activity while decreasing the environmental effects.

"There's that connection between public transportation and decreasing personal vehicle use, which is therefore going to decrease more cars and decrease air pollution," said Knutson.

And then there's the aspect of accessibility and affordability for residents.

"This increases that health equity that people can access care and services because they can use public transportation to get there," said Knutson.

Benefits of public transportation from a health perspective, for all who share the road.

"If you don't have a lot of cars on the road then you don't have safety issues," added Knutson.

And lower crash rates and crash severity using public transportation has Kittitas health leaders driving forward the many advantages it brings.

Ellensburg public transportation is available seven days a week.

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For more info on the CDC report go to their website here.

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