Michael P. Melaniphy is president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the full-service trade association for the public transport industry in North America. Melaniphy’s entire career has been in public transportation with more than 26 years of both public and private sector leadership experience.
Previously, Melaniphy served as vice president public sector for the bus manufacturer Motor Coach Industries, Inc. Prior to that, Melaniphy led public transit agencies in four U.S. regions: Charlotte, North Carolina, Wichita, Kansas, Hamilton, Ohio, and Laredo, Texas.
New research has identified various intersections between public transportation and health which have not been apparent. APTA and other partners have launched new initiatives aimed at making health care providers better aware of the critical role of public transportation in providing access to health care and healthy food. Each year 3.6 million people miss health appointments due to lack of transportation. Such missed medical appointments lead to illness prevention challenges that become costly to society overall.
As use of public transportation continues to grow, the various connections between transit and health will grow as well. Part of the nexus of health and transportation involves active transportation and a healthier life style. Walking and wheeling to transit and making our communities more transit oriented is an ongoing long term goal for healthy living.
A new APTA report outlines several additional connections between transit and health.These include better air quality, safer streets and safer travel, social interaction, and less stress in our lives.