Believe it or not, the government will pay you to ride your bike to work if you take advantage of a new bicycle commuting program.
Did you know that bicycle commuting can earn you money? Sounds like a flight of fancy, doesn’t it? But thanks to a new government program, it can actually happen. Oh, you won’t get a lot of money, but you can get enough to cover most of your basic bicycle maintenance.
Now, we realize that this isn’t something that most people are going to be able to take advantage of, but there does exist a sizable population of bicycle commuters out there — and we suspect that number is only going to grow, as gas prices rise again and cities become more bike-friendly by the day.
So let’s take a closer look.
Hidden in the Bailout
Remember the outrageous Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, better known as The Bailout?
If you’ll recall, it authorized most of a billion bucks toward bailing out our country’s “too big to fail” financial institutions… some of which immediately distributed the bailout money as bonuses to the idiots who had helped bankrupt them in the first place.
All corporate cupidity aside, the bailout has had some positive effects, and there were a few items buried in the legislation that actually benefited normal people, if only a bit. One example is the Bicycle Commuter Act, which rewards bicycle commuters by helping them out with their expenses.
Here’s the Deal
All the BCA does is authorize minor reimbursement for expenses incurred when you ride your bicycle to and from work, but hey, it’s something. Since February 2009, it’s been possible to get up to $20 a month to cover bike repairs, license fees, storage, and the like. That’s up to $240 a year.
So on top of saving the planet, cutting back on auto and gas costs, and helping maintain your good health, you can get all your basic expenses paid for when you ride your bike to work. Not a bad deal.
And the Catch?
So glad you asked, because of course there is one. The BCA reimbursement program is voluntary, which means that you have to ask your employer to sign up for it. Plus, they’re the ones who have to pay you the $20 per month.
And why should they do that? Certainly not out of the goodness of their hearts. (You know better). But they can deduct the payments from their taxes, so it never hurts to ask.
If you get together with your bike-riding co-workers, maybe you can present your case together — and you just might end up getting paid for your Earth-friendly bicycle commuting habits.