Northwest bike commuters are applauding Congressional legislation Thursday. The energy bill that just passed the House contains a $20 a month tax break specifically for people who bike to work.
The bill comes two years after the 2005 federal transportation bill contained hundreds of millions of dollars for bicycle transportation.
Jonathan Maus is the editor of the on-line bike magazine, bikeportland.org. He says if the bike commuter benefit became law, it would be a big morale booster.
Jonathan Maus: “To have it actually happen, is going to be seen as a great victory, and a great moment to say, ‘hey, we’ve been recognized on a federal level, that using a bike to get around the city and get to work is a viable means, just as viable as taking the bus, or a private car.”
Maus says he doubts whether the $20 monthly incentive would be enough to get anyone out of a car and onto a bike for the daily commute. But he says, it could be a factor.
The energy bill still needs to pass the Senate, and it could face a presidential veto.