Katy Hartnett, director of government relations
Twenty-four bike sharing systems opened in the U.S. this year. Last week, Rep. Joe Crowley from New York and Rep. Erik Paulson from Minnesota introduced the Bike to Work Act, which should get even more people using these systems.
The Bike to Work Act would allow workers to use their pre-tax transit benefit for bike share. Currently the pre-tax transit benefit covers the cost of public transportation. Workplaces can support their employees by allowing them to purchase passes for buses and subways pre-tax, which saves them money and reduces the number of people commuting by car. If passed, the Bike to Work Act would allow membership and rental fees for bike sharing to be included in this benefit. (Note, this is different than the bicycle commuter benefit, which is a reimbursement of up to $20 per month for expenses incurred by bicycling to work).
“For millions of Americans, the last mile—the stretch from a transit station to a workplace—is a challenging component of their daily commute,” says PeopleForBikes president Tim Blumenthal. “The Bike to Work Act will help many of these people to take full advantage of the growing number of bike-share systems to pedal between the bus or rail stop and their place of employment. This will reduce road congestion and air pollution while also providing important health and community benefits.”
Including bike sharing expenses within the transit benefit will hopefully inspire more Americans to pair transit and bike share for their commutes to and from work and expand mobility options across the country.