Portland-area U.S. House Representative Earl Blumenauer will unveil his “Commuter Relief Act” at a luncheon on May 18th. The legislation would make it easier to bike and take transit to work by improving existing federal policy that prioritizes driving alone over other modes.
Calling it a “matter of equity,” Blumenauer has worked for years to make it easier for employers to encourage non single-occupancy motor-vehicle commutes. Back in October 2008, his bike commuter tax benefit finally passed. It was a good first step; but it is anemic (offering just $20 a month for bicycling) and unnecessarily opaque (read a FAQ about it here).
Now, Blumenauer is working on a host of new provisions that would reward existing bike commuters and, hopefully, encourage others to give it a try.[Read more…]