MONTREAL, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - National Bank today unveiled the results of a study on an innovative way to fund the development of public transit in Quebec, more specifically in the Montreal region.
This study by Dr. George Hazel, an internationally recognized transportation expert, and his team discusses a financing method that is contributing to the renaissance of public transit and its positive impact on the world's major cities. National Bank teams confirmed these findings during meetings with people in charge of several major public transit projects in Asia, Europe and North America.
In recent years, several major projects have been the subject of public discussion, but have quickly run into obstacles because of the constraints and limits of public finances. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system on the new Champlain Bridge and a rail service from downtown to Montréal-Trudeau Airport and the West Island are just two examples.
"We are proposing that major real estate developers, including large institutional investors, help finance these projects, thereby reducing the bill for taxpayers. This study clearly demonstrates that building new public transit infrastructure increases the value of land near stations and fuels property development," explained Vincent Joli-Coeur, Vice Chairman, Financial Markets, at National Bank.
This study, commissioned by National Bank, focuses on land value capture, which essentially involves estimating the increase in value of a real estate investment when a new train station is built in a neighbourhood, for example. The developers must then reach an agreement with government bodies to finance part of the required public infrastructure.
"In Britain, the Crossrail project, a new railway line aimed at easing congestion in London, is currently being built at a cost of CDN $26 billion. Ten new stations are planned, with the private sector covering over a third of the investment costs. In New York, private investors are helping to finance the extension of subway line 7, which will lead to a major real estate development project. Our preliminary estimate, in Greater Montreal, is that land value capture could make it possible for the real estate sector to fund up to 35% of the costs related to the expansion of the public transit network," continued Mr. Joli-Coeur.
The full report can be consulted at: http://files.newswire.ca/1362/Land_Value.pdf
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SOURCE: National Bank of Canada
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