Economic Impact and Policy Implications from Urban Shared Transportation: The Case of Pittsburgh's Shared Bike System
19 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2015 Last revised: 26 Jun 2017
Date Written: November 18, 2015
During the last years the number of cities that have installed and started operating shared bike systems has significantly increased. These systems provide an alternative and sustainable mean of transportation to the city dwellers. Apart from the energy sustainability benefits, shared bike systems can have a positive effect on residents' health, air quality and the overall condition of the currently crumbling road network infrastructure. Anecdotal stories and survey studies have also identified that bike lanes have a positive impact on local businesses. In this study, driven by the rapid adoption of shared bike systems by city governments and their potential positive effects on a number of urban life facets we opt to study and quantify the value of these systems. We focus on a specific aspect of this value and use evidence from the real estate market in the city of Pittsburgh to analyze the effect on dwellers' properties of the shared bike system installed in the city in June 2015. We use quasi-experimental techniques and find that the shared bike system led to an increase in the housing prices (both sales and rental prices) in the zip codes where shared bike stations were installed. We further bring into the light potential negative consequences of this impact (i.e., gentrification) and discuss/propose two public policies that can exploit the impact of the system for the benefit of both the local government as well as the city dwellers.
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