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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(11), 11384-11397; doi:10.3390/ijerph111111384

Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Providing Free Public Transit Passes to Students in Los Angeles County: Lessons Learned in Applying a Health Lens to Decision-Making

1
Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 3530 Wilshire Blvd, 8th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010, USA
2
David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10880 Wilshire Blvd, Ste. 1800, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
3
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 313 N Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, USA
4
Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, 640 Charles E Young Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2014 / Revised: 15 October 2014 / Accepted: 22 October 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment: Realizing Its Potential)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [683 KB, uploaded 31 October 2014]   |  

Abstract

In spite of increased focus by public health to engage and work with non-health sector partners to improve the health of the general as well as special populations, only a paucity of studies have described and disseminated emerging lessons and promising practices that can be used to undertake this work. This article describes the process used to conduct a Health Impact Assessment of a proposal to provide free public transportation passes to students in Los Angeles County. This illustrative case example describes opportunities and challenges encountered in working with an array of cross-sector partners and highlights four important lessons learned: (1) the benefits and challenges associated with broad conceptualization of public issues; (2) the need for more comprehensive, longitudinal data systems and dynamic simulation models to inform decision-making; (3) the importance of having a comprehensive policy assessment strategy that considers health impacts as well as costs and feasibility; and (4) the need for additional efforts to delineate the interconnectivity between health and other agency priorities. As public health advances cross-sector work in the community, further development of these priorities will help advance meaningful collaboration among all partners. View Full-Text
Keywords: health impact assessment; health in all policies; public transportation; education; youth health impact assessment; health in all policies; public transportation; education; youth
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gase, L.N.; Kuo, T.; Teutsch, S.; Fielding, J.E. Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Providing Free Public Transit Passes to Students in Los Angeles County: Lessons Learned in Applying a Health Lens to Decision-Making. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 11384-11397.

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