State of Affairs: Current US Federal Policy Impacting Shared Micromobility

Last year, two important infrastructure bills were introduced to Congress that impact shared micromobility– the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Build Back Better Act (BBBA). The IIJA includes historic investments in infrastructure and climate and provides shared micromobility with increased access to federal funding and recognition that can help shared micromobility serve more people. If passed, BBBA makes shared micromobility use and charging infrastructure eligible for tax benefits and includes additional programs that can support shared micromobility and active transportation infrastructure. As we begin a new year, we’re diving into what the two bills mean for shared micromobility so far.

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)
*Also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) since signed into law.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that delivers $550 billion of new federal investments in America’s infrastructure over five years. It includes funding for safe street infrastructure, EV charging, and public transit projects and, importantly, has implications for shared micromobility. Below is a summary of the policy changes in the IIJA that benefit shared micromobility.

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ)
The CMAQ Program, a federally-funded program for surface transportation improvements designed to improve air quality and mitigate congestion, now includes shared micromobility projects as an eligible expense. As a result, the industry can now benefit from the $13.2 billion allocated over the next five years, about a 10% increase over the last reauthorization bill. While CMAQ funding has been utilized in the past to help launch or expand systems in some regions, designation at the federal level will ensure that shared micromobility project eligibility is uniformly applied.

Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways
Shared micromobility has been explicitly included in Section 217 of title 23, making Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) funding in addition to CMAQ funding available for construction and nonconstruction projects that include shared micromobility uses. The STBG Program will provide $72 billion in flexible funding over five years to states and localities for projects to preserve or improve roads, bridges, and tunnels, including installing electric vehicle charging and bicycle infrastructure. Changes to the Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways section also increase the number of funded state bicycle and pedestrian coordinators from one to two.

Complete Streets
The IIJA stipulates that MPOs must use at least 2.5% of their funding toward developing complete streets and safe streets policies that “increase safe and accessible options for multiple travel modes,” which can include improvements that benefit shared micromobility among other modes.

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
The passage of IIJA created a 10% set aside from STBG for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), resulting in a 70% increase in funding for the program. TAP has historically been the largest source of funding for safe street infrastructure, helping to create a safer, more sustainable transportation network for all roadway users.

Carbon Reduction Program
The IIJA created a new program called the Carbon Reduction Program to reduce transportation emissions. While this is a new program and the implementation and implications for shared micromobility are still unknown, the program is described as supporting programs that facilitate the use of alternatives to single-occupant vehicle trips, the development of facilities for biking, walking, and other forms of nonmotorized transportation, and other emission reduction strategies.

Center of Excellence on New Mobility and Automated Vehicles
The IIJA establishes a new Center of Excellence on New Mobility and Automated Vehicles that includes research into highly automated vehicles and new mobility, including docked and dockless bikeshare and shared electric scooters. In addition, the Center will coordinate research on the “impacts of new mobility and highly automated vehicles on land use, urban design, transportation, real estate, equity, and municipal budgets.”

E-Bike Definition
The IIJA updates the definition of e-bikes to the 3 class system. The definition for Class 1 electric bicycles, which most often applies to those included in shared fleets, includes bicycles equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to assist when the bicycle exceeds 20 miles per hour. Learn more about the Three Class E-Bike System from PeopleForBikes here.

The IIJA includes several updated and new safety provisions that impact shared micromobility. Notably, the definition of a nonmotorized road user was expanded to include users of electric-assist or non-electric-assist bicycles and scooters. In addition, crash data must now distinguish bicycles and scooters from other vehicles involved in a crash, and states with over 15% of deaths of vulnerable roadway users are required to spend at least 15% of their Highway Safety and Improvement Program funds on bicycle and pedestrian safety projects.

In the coming months and years, USDOT will distribute the billions of transportation dollars included in the IIJA. Most of this money will go to state governments, which will have significant discretion over which types of projects will be funded. The U.S. Department of Transportation released state-by-state fact sheets highlighting how the law can be implemented in each state.

Build Back Better Act (BBBA)

As we welcome in a new year, the fate of the Build Back Better Act and the crucial provisions affecting shared micromobility remains unclear. That said, the potential impacts include tax benefits and possible new funding programs that could support shared micromobility, safe street infrastructure, and improved transportation access. Here are the provisions that we continue to keep our eye on and advocate for:

Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit
The current BBBA includes the reinstatement and expansion of the bicycle commuter tax benefit. Under the proposed terms, commuters utilizing bicycles, e-bikes, bikeshare, and shared scooters would be eligible to receive $81/month pre-tax benefit from their employers. Importantly, this benefit can be additive alongside the transit and parking benefits.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
The Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit allows a tax credit for the cost of any qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property placed in service by the taxpayer during the taxable year. The BBBA currently expands this eligibility to include e-bike and e-scooter charging infrastructure.

The Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant
The Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant will provide almost $4 billion for improving affordable transportation access by removing transportation barriers and building community connections. It will focus on improving the walkability, safety, and affordability of transportation in underserved communities.

The Community Climate Incentive Grant
The Community Climate Incentive Grant will provide almost $4 billion towards greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects. Eligible activities include providing zero-emission transportation options and reducing dependence on single-occupant vehicle trips.

While much is still undetermined– the implementation of the IIJA and the passage of the BBBA (or certain provisions within it)– it is clear that shared micromobility is now, more than ever, gaining ground in US federal policy. If the recent round of USDOT RAISE grant awards are any indication, it appears that policymakers may be starting to take a more inclusive approach to transportation spending and directing more funds to multimodal and active transportation projects. The unfortunate continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the vital role that shared micromobility can and does play in communities to get people where they need to go. NABSA continues to advocate for provisions that support shared micromobility and its benefits to communities. Learn more about our advocacy work at