Bailout Bill Includes Bike Commuting Benefit

Remember Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s
long-sought $20 per month tax credit for bike commuters, intended to
extend a benefit to cyclists that motorists have received for decades?
The measure ridiculed by North Carolina Rep. Patrick "Give Me Fossil Fuels or Give Me Death" McHenry?
It didn’t make it into law last year, but it seems the bike commuting
credit has found its way into the latest version of the financial
bailout package.

Section 211 of the
"Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" allows for a "qualified
bicycle commuting reimbursement" for "reasonable expenses incurred by
the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle
and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is
regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of
employment."

Other transpo-related items in the bill include
credits for biofuels and other "alternative" mixtures, plug-in electric
vehicles, and what looks like a few goodies for oil and natural gas
producers. Another section includes incentives for green construction
and renewable energy production.

The full text of the 451-page bill, expected to be taken up by the House of Representatives on Friday, is available here. Tell us if you find other items of interest.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Saving Money by Ditching the Car

|
If you’ve ever wanted a breakdown of the benefits of commuting by bike versus commuting by car, Carfree.us has got it for you. The writer of this Streetsblog Network member blog, a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina,  is not actually totally car-free, but he has made a commitment to commuting by bike or bus for […]

Streetfilms Praises Orange Line BRT and Bike Path

|
While in town last month, Streetfilms took its second look at Los Angeles’ Orange Line as a model for BRT’s around the country.  In his summary of the above Streetfilm, Clarence Eckerson doesn’t hold back his praise for the Orange Line calling it "one of the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in the U.S" […]

Bicycling is for Everyone: The Connections Between Cycling in Developing Countries and Low-Income Cyclists of Color in the U.S.

|
A Missing Story As urban transportation bicycling becomes more popular, planners and advocates often use “bike friendly cities” like Portland, Amsterdam and Copenhagen as examples for facilities as well as political strategies and tactics.  Although these are wonderful cities with dazzling bike networks and impressive ridership numbers, a narrative is emerging that bicycle advocacy needs […]

Governor Shocks Cyclists with “Give Me 3” Rejection, Approves Bills Making Infrastructure Improvements Easier

|
(Note: It was a busy 72 hours in Sacramento this weekend. Streetsblog will split it’s coverage of Governor Jerry Brown’s signings and vetos into two separate stories, one pertaining to bicycles, and a second post for everything else.) For the second year in a row, California Governor Jerry Brown issued a last-minute veto of legislation mandating […]