Trees and Transit

Posted on by Isabelle Brown

While it may seem that transit and trees may be topics of two different discussions, they are actually connected by a shared goal. The initiative of green transportation and that of planting trees are rooted in the determination to decrease carbon emissions.

Trees and transit do impact one another quite a bit. The rising goal of creating green urban spaces works together with the push for better and more accessible public transit in cities around the US.

Just in time for Arbor Day this Friday, we’d like to talk about trees, transit, and what they mean to the environment we live in.

Reducing Pollution

Public transit is a major contributor to the fight for cleaner air around the country. Public buses play a major role in decreasing the number of cars on the road, resulting in reduced emissions. The CDC reported that public transportation produces only a fraction of the harmful pollution of single occupancy vehicles: only five percent as much carbon dioxide.

We can compare this to the number one CO2 fighter in the world: trees. Green spaces in urban areas are a rising solution to environmental forces that cause air pollution. Urban trees assist in temperature and humidity reduction, combatting the ozone formation that high air temperate can create. The natural functions of trees that remove air pollutants cannot be overstated in urban areas with bustling streets.

Together, trees and public transit work as a team to create cleaner air in cities and towns.

The Impact of Green Spaces

If we connect public transportation and trees and bring the two together, we would find our cities to be greener, cleaner, and more people-friendly. People who take public transit are found to be heavily exposed to vehicle emissions while waiting for the transportation. Instead of bus stops on the side of a busy road, imagine the positive impact of green spaces. Areas full of trees, native plants, sitting areas, shade, and fresh air would revolutionize what it means to sit at the bus stop in American cities.

This quote from Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk, Professor of Urban Forestry at the University of British Colombia, says it all: “Research shows really clearly that we need nature in our surroundings. We need trees in our streets, plants in our gardens and flowers on our balcony. We need nature as our neighbor all the time.”