The North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) applauds a new bill introduced March 5 that promotes multimodal commuting by reinstating and modifying the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit.

Background of the Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit
First enacted in 2009, the bicycle commuter tax benefit allowed employers to provide a reimbursement of up to $20/month for expenses relating to bike commuting, yet bikeshare was not an eligible expense. Additionally, if an employee elected to take this bike commuting reimbursement, they were not eligible to receive transit or parking commuter benefits. In 2017, the bicycle commuter benefit was altogether suspended through 2025 through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

With more employees choosing to bike to work, it’s time for Congress to take action.

Reinstating the benefit in 2019
The Bicycle Commuter Act of 2019 reverses the bicycle commuter benefit’s suspension and changes the structure to include traditional and electric bikeshare options. This is a great shift toward encouraging people to commute by bike, and making bikeshare options more accessible for all.

In addition to bikeshare eligibility and allowing multimodal benefits, the revised bill includes:

  • A pre-tax wage benefit for employees instead of a reimbursement
  • Opportunity for employees to receive a bike benefit up to 20 percent of the existing parking benefit

This policy integrates bikeshare further into the fabric of public transportation options, making bikeshare more accessible for everyone.

For more information on the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2019, check out our article in Cycling Industry News.