Objectives: We assessed changes in transit-associated walking in the United States from 2001 to 2009 and documented their importance to public health.
Methods: We examined transit walk times using the National Household Travel Survey, a telephone survey administered by the US Department of Transportation to examine travel behavior in the United States.
Results: People are more likely to transit walk if they are from lower income households, are non-White, and live in large urban areas with access to rail systems. Transit walkers in large urban areas with a rail system were 72% more likely to transit walk 30 minutes or more per day than were those without a rail system. From 2001 to 2009, the estimated number of transit walkers rose from 7.5 million to 9.6 million (a 28% increase); those whose transit-associated walking time was 30 minutes or more increased from approximately 2.6 million to 3.4 million (a 31% increase).
Conclusions: Transit walking contributes to meeting physical activity recommendations. Study results may contribute to transportation-related health impact assessment studies evaluating the impact of proposed transit systems on physical activity, potentially influencing transportation planning decisions.