Vancouver Coastal Health's chief medical health officer is urging resident to vote yes to a new 0.5 per cent regional tax to fund a list of Lower Mainland transportation projects — saying strong public transit has a direct link to better public health.

"We know from studies that we've done that people who use public transit get about 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity that people who don't use public transit don't get. This will help improve their overall health," Dr. Patricia Daly told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Daly said better public transit also means fewer cars on the road, which will also benefit people's health.

"Even for those people who are never going to use the new transit lines, never going to get on those buses, people who drive those cars every day, they should be concerned about our air quality."

Daly admitted she does usually drive to work, because the nearby 99 B-Line bus is often packed with people.

"The 99 B-Line in Vancouver is very crowded and it can be difficult to get on that bus to get home from work, so that's one of the improvements we'll see in the mayors' transit plan. Many people get passed by by that bus everyday."

To hear the full interview with Dr. Patricia Daly, click the audio labelled: Public transit and public health.