Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bike Commuter Act (H.R. 1052)

Bike Commuter Act (H.R. 1052)

Summary from Rep. Blumenauer's Website:

Currently, employers may offer a Transportation Fringe Benefit to their employees for commuting to work. Employees who take advantage of this benefit may receive a tax exemption benefit totaling $190/month for drivers participating in qualified parking plans, or $100/month for transit or van pooling. There is also the option of taking cash compensation. The Bike Commuter Act (H.R. 1052), introduced by Congressman Blumenauer and cosponsored by Representative Mark Foley (R-FL), aims to include bicycling in the Transportation Fringe Benefit.

Why is this important?

  • Financial incentives are currently offered for other modes of transportation: it is time to level the playing field to include bicyclists.
  • With over 50% of the working population commuting 5 miles or less to work, bicycles offer the strongest potential for reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips.
  • According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, bicycles are second only to cars as a preferred form of transportation. Excluding this highly preferred mode of transportation does not make sense and is counterintuitive.
  • Studies have shown that when offered bike parking and/or access to showers, individuals are 40% more likely to bike to work.

Communities across the nation are seeking to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and make neighborhoods safe. The federal government can assist in those efforts by promoting bicycling use through the existing Transportation Fringe Benefit of the tax code.

To support the Bicycle Commuter Act contact your congressional representative and your two senators through Project Vote Smart

Bicycle Commuter Act Text - Senate Version, House Version