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Old 08-03-07, 09:16 AM   #1
invisiblehand
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Bike Commuter Act

http://www.bicycling.com/article/1,6...5803-1,00.html

Oregon Congressman Introduces Bike Commuter Act

Democrat Earl Blumenauer's bill will pass along financial benefits for commuters who bike to work

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) will join bike advocates on Thursday, March 15, at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C., to introduce the Bike Commuter Act. The bill would amend a section of the IRS code to include bicycles in the definition of transportation covered by fringe benefits. If passed, it would provide strong financial incentives for employees to bike to work. Cycling is already known to be a clean, healthy and efficient mode of transportation.

With over 50 percent of the working population commuting 5 miles or less to work, bicycles offer the strongest potential for reducing single-occupancy vehicles. With financial incentives presently offered for a variety of modes of transportation, it is time to include bicyclists in the Transportation Fringe Benefit.

To show your support for this bill, send a note to your local congressman. The League of American Bicyclists makes it easy. Click here to write your local representatives. All you do is enter your zip code, the letter is automatically generated and sent for you.

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.

For more information, please go to Congressman Blumenauer's website.

To show your support for this bill, send a note to your local congressman. The League of American Bicyclists makes it easy. Click here to write your local representatives. All you do is enter your zip code, the letter is automatically generated and sent for you.
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Old 08-03-07, 11:10 AM   #2
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I've been sending letters and signing petitions for this bloody thing for years now. It still hasn't gotten anywhere.
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Old 08-03-07, 12:01 PM   #3
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I'm more than a little conflicted over this. The whole 'everybody else is doing it, so we should too' mentality when it comes to subsidies drives me up the wall. Anything that is going to get more people biking is great, but increasing subsidies means (since there's no way there will be the identical decrease somewhere else) that more tax money gets squandered. And before anyone jumps on me and says that it will save money from less popular things like war and the like, let's be realistic, the DoD and DHS won't be giving up money for bikes.


We can only dream of something like that happening...
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Old 08-03-07, 01:16 PM   #4
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The amount of ppl biking...I hardly think this would make a difference, and if they're going to subsidize cars, they might as well be fair.
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Old 08-03-07, 01:54 PM   #5
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I'd like to point out that when this passes, and I believe that it eventually will, it will be one more arrow in our quiver for bicycles as legitimate vehicles and cyclists as credible road users.

Last edited by CommuterRun; 08-03-07 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 08-03-07, 02:09 PM   #6
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Not entirely sure how it "reduces single occupancy vehicle trips" tho'.

Or is it aimed at increasing sociable tandem riding?
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Old 08-03-07, 08:22 PM   #7
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One way to look at transportation to work is that it is for the employer's benefit. Makes sense for the employer to subsidize that expense and to be able to deduct it. I hadn't read that code section. I may have to see if I can subsidize my staff's commuting on bike and car. That would be cool. Since my staff is all here at home, I'd just be subsidizing myself!
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Old 08-03-07, 08:50 PM   #8
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Screw that, tell the goverment to stay off my wheel.
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