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UBC professor warns of increased health problems if transit referendum fails

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – We’ll see more dementia, cancer and stroke if we say “no” to an increase in the sales tax to fund transit, according to a UBC professor.

It sounds a bit alarmist, but Kay Teschke, professor in the school of population and public health, says these health problems are real effects of a sedentary lifestyle. She says research proves the more people taking transit, the healthier the population becomes. “Places like New York City where tons of people take transit they are overall more active than in places that are more suburban and require everyone to drive more.”

Teschke says it’s hard to ask people in the suburbs to try transit when the bus only comes once or twice an hour. “The question is, how can we, as a society, get more physical activity and one is of course walking and bicycling as a mode of transport. It’s really a lot easier to sustain physical activity when it’s part of your activities of daily living.”

Part of the mayors’ council’s plan for the extra funding includes hundreds of new buses.