House Bill Proposes Big Jump in Bike-Share Funding

Photo:  Wash Cycle
Photo: Wash Cycle

A group of federal lawmakers is trying to make it easier for cities to add and expand bike share — by treating it more like public transit.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) — the chairs of Congress’ Bike Caucus — this week introduced a bill known as the Bikeshare Transit Act of 2019. They proposed changing federal laws so that bike-share programs would be eligible for federal transit money and for a large-grant program that is dedicated (theoretically anyway) to improving air quality. If it is approved, the new law would make billions in new federal funds available to support bike share.

“Our legislation removes barriers facing new and existing bike-share projects seeking additional funding, giving more people options for efficient, carbon-free transportation,” Blumenauer said in a statement.

According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, about 36.5 million trips were taken in 2018 on bike share, the vast majority in just a small handful cities that have made sizable investments in station-based systems.

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