Introduction of the Bikeshare Transit Actby Representative Earl Blumenauer
Posted on 2016-01-07
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 7, 2016
Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, America is in the middle of a bikeshare
revolution: 13 new bikeshare systems launched in 2014 and 11 more
launched in 2015, bringing the national total to approximately 80. More
than 10 million people rode a bikeshare bicycle last year. Systems are
opening in large metropolitan regions like Washington, DC and New York,
as well as smaller communities like Dayton and Boise. The increased
commercial investment around bikeshare stations and networks drives
economic development in these communities.
Some of these existing bikeshare programs received federal monies to get off the ground, but the lack of an established funding source has proved an impediment to other projects across the country. Since the term ``bikeshare'' is not defined in U.S. Code or described by law as a form of transit, bikeshare systems and transportation officials alike now operate in a gray area. Congress needs to act to clarify that bikeshare projects are eligible for federal funding, providing certainty to investors, business owners, and commuters.
That is why today I am introducing the Bikeshare Transit Act. This legislation will eliminate this gray area by defining bikeshare in statute and making bikeshare systems eligible to receive funding to enhance related public transportation service or transit facilities. They will also be listed as an eligible project under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.
Additionally, the Bikeshare Transit Act will allow federal funding to be used for acquiring or replacing bikeshare related equipment and the construction of bikeshare facilities.
The Bikeshare Transit Act will remove significant barriers facing new bikeshare projects as well as those existing bikeshare programs applying for federal funding. This legislation underscores that bikeshare programs drive economic development and are an important part of America's transportation system.