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Proximity to public transportation can increase properties values, according to a new study released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

The study concluded neighborhoods and commercial properties within a half-mile of public transit services had higher median sale prices and transit-oriented areas had lower transportation costs, according to a press release.

As the development of neighborhoods, shopping centers and employment hubs in Madison County continues to grow and evolve, Madison County Transit (MCT) evaluates its service and seeks ways to meet the growing demand for transit.

Currently, the MCT fixed route service is comprised of 24 routes within 20 Madison County communities. MCT service extends to the Emerson Park MetroLink Station in St. Clair County and express routes travel to downtown St. Louis.

“This report from NAR and APTA confirms what we’ve always known: transit adds value to the communities it serves,” said Kyle Anderson, CEO of the Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS. “MCT’s public transportation service and the extensive MCT Trails system serve to strengthen our economy, improve the quality of life and promote healthier communities in our region.”

Madison County Transit is also responsible for the development of maintenance of the MCT Trails, a system of more than 130 miles of inter-connected bikeways. Many trailheads in Madison County also serve as bus stops, increasing access to a variety of regional destinations.

A survey conducted by NAR and the National Association of Home Builders revealed access to biking/walking trails outranked 16 other amenity options and was found to be one of the most sought-after amenities among new home buyers.

“Public transportation is a valuable investment in our communities, our businesses and our country,” said APTA president and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “Public transportation gets people to jobs and educational opportunities and helps businesses attract employees and customers.”

The joint NAR and APTA study emphasized the impact public transportation can make on a community. It’s the belief of NAR 2019 first vice president Charlie Oppler the report “should reiterate to policymakers at all levels of government the importance of investing in modern, efficient infrastructure that facilitates growth and helps our nation keep pace in a rapidly evolving world.”

Find MCT bus routes, stops and schedules on Google Maps by selecting the “transit” icon in the “Get Directions” tab and entering your origin and destination. Find the nearest MCT Trail by selecting the “walk” or “bike” icon in Google Maps. For more information on the MCT fixed route system visit mct.org, to explore the MCT Trail system visit mcttrails.org, call 618-797-4600, or e-mail info@mct.org.