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B$Z: Bike Sharing Association Leadership Pushes for Action with Lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

December 14, 2015

Last week, PeopleForBikes led another "fly-in" lobbying trip to Washington, D.C. with members of the board of the North America Bikeshare Association (NABSA) to discuss the transportation bill and federal policies that affect bike sharing systems across the country.

The group met with members of Congress, their senior staff, and federal agencies to help bring several key issues confronting bike sharing to the forefront.

"NABSA represents diverse voices in the bike share industry, from operators to cities to equipment vendors. This fly-in was an important first step for NABSA, representing our 48 members by discussing federal policy that will help grow and strengthen bike sharing in the U.S.," said Elliott McFadden, executive director of Austin B-cycle and NABSA board treasurer.

Among the policy issues facing NABSA members and bike sharing across the country are the continuation and expansion of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) Program, which includes federal funding for bicycle infrastructure, as well as the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. Additionally, the passage of the Bike to Work Act, which has been introduced in the House, was key among federal priorities.

"Expanding the commuter tax credit to include bike share memberships as a pre-tax employee benefit would be a huge step towards growing bike share ridership and making bike share a normal part of the transportation mix," said Chief of Active Transportation for the Seattle Department of Transportation and NABSA Board President Nicole Freedman. "With bipartisan support, we are hopeful we can get the Bike to Work Act passed in the new year."

“We want to help more cities open bike sharing systems, as we see the direct link between people using bike share and improved bike infrastructure for everyone that rides a bike,” said Vice President of the Business Network at PeopleForBikes Jenn Dice. “We are proud to partner with NABSA and work with key federal agencies and Congress to make sure their policies get more people on bikes in communities throughout the country.”