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  • Proximity to bike-sharing stations augments property values in city

    by McGill University | Jun 21,2015

    We know that an extra bedroom, and a metro station nearby will make your house more valuable. Now it turns out that a bike-sharing station nearby will do the same.

    Researchers at McGill studied house sales in central Montreal before and after the Bixi bike sharing system was launched in Montreal in 2009. They found that a typical home in the central Montreal area they studied had about 12 stations nearby, which had increased its value by 2.7% -- or $8650 on average.

    The team arrived at these conclusions by looking at the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) database of all home sales in most of the island of Montreal from 1996 to 2012. They focussed on 2400 units that were sold more than once during this period, in order to study the increase in values. Once they had filtered out other factors they found that each bike-sharing station in the neighbourhood lead to a $700 increase in property values for the nearby houses.

    "Bixi has been under attack a lot, but the system has had some positive effects," says Ahmed El-Geneidy, lead author and Associate Professor at McGill School of Urban Planning. "It favours environmentally friendly and healthy habits and now we know it has significantly increased the value of homes in Montreal. This data shows people here value bicycle sharing."

    What mayors should know

    It is likely that other cities with similar bike sharing systems, like New York, Toronto, or Paris, will see similar effects on housing prices.

    "We expect studies on other cities will also find a positive impact on house sales," El-Geneidy says.

    "Cities that are considering the implementation or expansion of bicycle share systems must keep in mind that although they require a major investment at the beginning, the combined benefits from such systems, including an increase in property taxes, might well outweigh the initial costs."

    The amount of the increase in property value would probably vary from one city to another. "It depends on how much people in a particular city value cycling bike sharing," El-Geneidy explains. The quality of the system may also play a role. "Because it was built to showcase the Bixi model and export it, the network in Montreal is very good. Stations are well spread both downtown and in residential neighbourhoods where many cyclists live, such as Le Plateau."

  • Third Bcycle Station Opens at KCC

    by Battle Creek BCycle | Jun 17,2015
    A third bicycle sharing center has opened in Battle Creek. Seven bikes are now located at Kellogg Community College in the parking lot outside the Lane-Thomas Building. The station, developed by BCycle in Waterloo, Wis., is a joint project of the college, Bronson Battle Creek, the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, under the auspices of the Battle Creek Community Foundation.

    The first station was installed at Burnham Brook Community Center at 200 W. Michigan Ave. in August 2013, according to Angela Myers, the foundation's Regional Health Alliance Program Health Manager. A second station was installed last fall at the Riverwalk Center downtown at 34 W. Jackson St. The KCC station holds seven Trek bicycles which can be rented for 24 hours for $5. Thirty day and annual passes also are available for $15 and $30 respectively. Only the day passes are available at the bicycle site while the longer passes are available from websites of the foundation or BCycle, Myers said Wednesday.

    TeamActive bicycle store employees check the bicycles each week to ensure they are working properly. Myers said vandalism has not been a problem with the program, which is located in 41 cities in the United States and South America. Myers said the foundation would like to expand the program to other locations in Battle Creek. The only other Michigan city with BCycles is Ann Arbor. Myers said officials have not compiled information about use of the bikes but said most appears to be on the weekend and for leisure.

    Contact Trace Christenson at 269-966-0685 or tchrist@battlecreekenquirer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TSChristenson.
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