Transit is good for your wallet…and your health?

We all probably know that taking mass transit will save us money versus driving to work every day, but the inconvenience can sometimes be a deterrent. But just how inconvenient is having Type II diabetes?

A new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the risk of obesity increases substantially for each hour we spend in our cars, and that people taking public transport walk an average of 19 minutes every day, going bus/transit stops and their workplace and back.

When you consider that the average Honolulu resident spent 58 hours sitting in traffic (stopped, not even stop and go) last year (Honolulu was worst in the nation, but not by much), the effect of pollution and particulate matter also comes into play. Diesel particulates were found to affect red blood cell function, and contribute to an increased risk of heart attacks. Sitting on a train, your air will be freer of particulates than if you are sitting in traffic.

In addition to the health benefits, the average American could save $9,934 per year by switching to public transit. Now that’s what I call a stimulus!


Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on