Blumenauer introduces ‘Green Routes to Work Act’

Bike to Work Day in Lloyd District -4
Blumenauer demonstrating one of
several green ways to get
to work.
(Photo © J. Maus)

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Green Routes to Work Act of 2009 into Congress yesterday.

The bill looks to promote “low-carbon” transportation options by providing tax credits for both employers and individuals.

In a press release about the bill, Blumenauer states:

“With global warming on the rise, and Americans’ waistlines ever expanding, it is time to level the playing field for transportation options that are clean, healthy, and save people money at the pump…

For too long, the federal government has supported commuters who drove to work but has not helped those who use other methods of transportation.”

Blumenauer’s bill looks to address that disparity by extending employer incentives to biking, walking, and telecommuting (a phrase which is garnering more and more attention in the sustainable transportation world).

Here are the specific incentives included in the bill (copied from a statement distributed by Blumenauer’s office):

This is the most comprehensive effort yet by Blumenauer to improve on the anemic bike commuter tax benefit that was passed back in October as part of Obama’s federal economic stimulus bill.

Blumenauer staffers tell us that, if the transportation bill moves forward this session, they’ll try and get the Green Routes to Work Act folded into the Ways and Means financing section of the bill. If not, they’ll try and find a home for it in another tax bill.

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