Economics of Interventions to Increase Active Travel to School: A Community Guide Systematic Review
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Economics of Interventions to Increase Active Travel to School: A Community Guide Systematic Review

Public Access Version Available on: January 01, 2022, 12:00 AM
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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Am J Prev Med
    • Description:
      Context: The number of children who bicycle or walk to school has steadily declined in the U.S. and other high-income countries. In response, several countries responded in recent years by funding infrastructure and non-infrastructure programs that improve the safety, convenience, and attractiveness of active travel to school. The objective of the present study is to synthesize the economic evidence for cost and benefit of these programs. Evidence acquisition: Literature from inception of databases to July 2018 were searched, yielding 9 economic evaluation studies. All analyses were done during September 2018 through May 2019. Evidence synthesis: All studies reported cost, 6 studies reported cost benefit, and 2 studies reported cost effectiveness. The cost-effectiveness estimates were excluded based on quality assessment. Cost of interventions ranged widely, with higher cost reported for the infrastructure-heavy projects from the U.S. ($91,000 to $179,000 per school) and United Kingdom ($227,000 to $665,000 per project). Estimates of benefits differed in inclusion of: improved safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, improved health from increased physical activity, and reduced environmental impacts due to less automobile use. The evaluations in the U.S. focused primarily on safety. The overall median benefit to cost ratio was 4.4:1.0 (IQR=2.2:1–6.0:1, 6 studies). The 2-year benefit–cost ratios for U.S. projects in California and in New York City were 1.46:1 and 1.79:1, respectively. Conclusions: The evidence indicates that interventions that improve infrastructure and enhance the safety and ease of active travel to schools generate societal economic benefits that exceed the societal cost.
    • Subject:
    • Source:
      Am J Prev Med. 60(1):e27-e40
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