Buried in the Fine Print: Money for Bike Commuting

I got a press release from Brian Mullis, he runs Sustainable Travel International, and he had a good point that somehow got by me. There’s a new Bicycle Commuter Act.

Buried in the fine print of the massive bail out bill is a provision to reward employers who make lives easier for bicycle commuters. If they provide showers, bike racks, bike tune-ups, and other support for bike commuting they can knock $20 per month per employee off their taxable income.

I can just see radio commentator Howie Carr screaming crazy mad over this. He hates bicyclists and bike lanes, and he’ll brand this a ‘beautiful people’ provision. But this is the kind of thing you have to do to make an entire country start to come around, and stop treating cars as their only transportation option.

A New York Times blog says that the same sort of incentive for mass transit cha chings out at $115 per person, and that there are other subsidies for people who drive cars to work. I think these types of things, small little additions to massive spending bills, are how incrementally, we’ll someday change our car-obsessed society. More bikes would be a good thing!