Only one bicycle commuter grant exists in the U.S., but several bicycle-related grants help more individuals cycle to work safely. The Bicycle Commuter Act rewards individuals directly for frequently riding a bicycle to work, but programs such as the U.S. Department of Transportation Tiger II discretionary grant and transportation enhancements help ensure that more cyclists feel safe enough to commute to work and qualify for the tax deductions the Bicycle Commuter Act allows.
Bicycle Commuter Act
The Bicycle Commuter Act, enacted Jan. 1, 1999, authorises cyclists riding to work three-plus days a week to claim at least £13 per month in bicycle-related expenses on income tax returns. A cyclist must present documented proof, receipts and a monthly employer-signed statement if audited. The Bicycle Commuter Act offers cyclists the same benefits that drivers and public transportation users enjoy, according to the League of American Bicyclists.
Tiger II Discretionary Grants
Tiger II discretionary grants follow original USDOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) guidelines with several enhancements, according to cycling advocate American Bikes. Merit-based Tiger II grants tap £390 million in funding to award grants mostly between £6 million and £130 million to communities that match 20 per cent of the amounts. Rural communities need not match funds and may request as little as £0.6 million. USDOT hopes to create and sustain jobs with Tiger II grants.
USDOT Transportation Enhancement
USDOT awards billions of dollars each year to deserving programs from its budget. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood noted on Earth Day 2009 that USDOT is taking steps to ensure that sustainable communities incorporate alternative transportation methods including bicycling and walking. More than £2 million in Energy Efficient and Block Grant Programs alone allowed funding for bicycles in early 2009. Bicyclists have a full partner with USDOT in working toward liveable communities, LaHood said.
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