Crowley, Paulsen Reintroduce The Bike to Work Act

Nov 23, 2015 Issues: In the Community

Bipartisan Legislation Will Encourage Use of Bike Share Programs, Create New Options for Commuters

(Queens, NY and  Eden Prairie, MN) – Today, Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and Erik Paulsen (R-MN) announced the reintroduction of The Bike to Work Act (H.R. 4104), bipartisan legislation that would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow workers to use their pre-tax commuter benefits for bike share programs, just as they already can for other forms of transportation.

“Increased connectivity is critical to the future growth of cities like New York and programs like Citi Bike are vital to meeting the needs of those communities that have long been underserved by viable transportation options,” said Rep. Crowley. “That’s why I’m proud to partner with Congressman Paulsen to once again introduce The Bike to Work Act - a commonsense measure that clears the way for workers to use their commuter benefits for an already affordable and environmentally friendly form of transportation. This added incentive will not only promote greater usage of bike share systems, but in the process it will help ensure that the programs expand their reach to even more corners of our cities.”

“Bike sharing programs like Nice Ride are making it easier for Minnesotans to get around by giving them an efficient, flexible option to get from point A to point B,” said Rep. Paulsen. “As these programs grow, it’s important that we put them on equal footing with other modes of transportation that commuters use to get to their jobs. I’m glad to team up with Congressman Crowley to introduce the bipartisan Bike to Work Act to increase access to bike share and make it more affordable for those traveling to work.”

Originally introduced in the 113th Congress, the bill will give commuters the option to pair bike share with other forms of transit, greatly expanding mobility and improving access to existing transit systems.

“Bike share is a flexible, modern transit option for cities that complements and extends the reach of traditional transit," said Jay Walder, President & CEO of Motivate, the nation's largest bike share operator, which runs Citi Bike in New York. “We have over 178,000 active members nationwide and this bill would make it more affordable and accessible for even more Americans to take advantage of this healthy and convenient form of transit.”

“With over 1.8 million trips in Minneapolis and St. Paul, bike sharing has become an important transportation tool,” said Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota Executive Director. “Major employers like the University of Minnesota and KPMG encourage their employees to make bike share part of their daily commute. The Bike to Work Act will make it easy for more people to choose active transportation, improving health and reducing congestion. Nice Ride Minnesota endorses the Bike to Work Act and commends Congressman Erik Paulsen for sponsoring this legislation.”

“Even before bike share’s instant success, bicycling was the fastest growing form of transportation in New York City,” said Paul Steely White, Transportation Alternatives Executive Director. “Now, bike share is accelerating that growth even more—with more than 135,136 members to date. We can’t imagine the city without it, so it’s time for the IRS to recognize bike share as the popular commuting option that it is and work with Representative Crowley and Congress to pass his bill. There’s no better recognition of becoming mainstream than being written into the tax code!”

“The North American Bikeshare Association is thrilled to support the Bike to Work Act. Tens of thousands of people across the country are combining bike share with transit as part of their daily commute,” said Nicole Freedman, President of the Board, NABSA. “This act will make bike share an even more affordable way for people to get to jobs.”

“For millions of Americans, the last mile--the stretch from a transit station to a workplace--is a challenging component of their daily commute,” said 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.”

The Bike to Work Act has broad support from a variety of organizations, including: Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago; Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT); Commuter Benefits Coalition; Commuter Benefit Solutions; League of American Bicyclists; Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC); Motivate; National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO); National League of Cities; PeopleForBikes; San Francisco Bicycle Coalition; Transportation for America; Transit Benefit Coalition; Transit for Livable Communities; Transportation Alternatives; and Wage Works, Transit Benefit Coalition.