U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Masaachusetts), co-chairs of the Congressional Bike Caucus, introduced the Bikeshare Transit Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that supports local bikeshare programs by helping communities across the country access federal funds for bikeshare facilities and equipment. This legislation was introduced after the third anniversary of Portland’s own successful BIKETOWN bikeshare launch, which nearly 80,000 Portlanders utilize per year.
“Portlanders have used BIKETOWN for hundreds of thousands of trips and more than one million miles. This is an essential transit option for my community, and communities around the country, where people often lack access to meaningful transportation options outside of the single occupancy automobile,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “Our legislation removes barriers facing new and existing bikeshare projects seeking additional funding, giving more people options for efficient, carbon-free transportation.”
“Bikeshare programs help folks stay active, promote a clean environment and help benefit the economy,” Rep. Buchanan said. “I’m excited to join my friend Congressman Blumenauer in reintroducing this bill to make it easier for more of these initiatives to receive federal funding.”
“Cycling exists at the intersection of climate justice, transit justice, and health justice,” said Rep. Pressley. “Encouraging cycling in our communities is about fostering peace, building community, and promoting sustainable transportation. I’m proud to be a sponsor of the Bikeshare Transit Act to ensure that cycling is safe, reliable, and affordable in the Massachusetts Seventh and across our country.”
More than 100 communities across the country now have bikeshare systems, supporting a network of more than 100,000 bikes. Since 2010, riders around the country have taken more than 100 million trips, with the number of trips and systems increasing each year. The Bikeshare Transit Act of 2019 makes clear that bikeshare projects are eligible for existing federal funding and defines bikeshare in federal transportation law, giving much-needed certainty to business owners, city and local officials, and commuters alike.
In March, Buchanan and Pressley joined Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, to introduce the Bicycle Commuter Act, which would provide a pre-tax benefit for bicycle commuting like that which is currently available to drivers and transit riders.
To read the full text of the bill, click here.