What IS in the Inflation Reduction Act for Bikes?
By: Noa Banayan, PeopleForBikes’ director of federal affairs
While it neglects to consider several incentives that center bikes as climate action, the IRA still advances much needed climate policy for the U.S.
On August 16, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, the single-largest climate policy investment in U.S. history. While we’ve written extensively (here and here) about how the Inflation Reduction Act neglects to consider bike incentives as climate policy, this bill is still urgently needed. It serves as an initial down payment for federal climate action, with much more work still to be done.
PeopleForBikes, the bike industry at large and advocates across the nation will continue pushing for a federal electric bicycle tax credit and bike commuter benefit as climate policy and fighting for their inclusion at every possible opportunity.
For now, we want to shine light on the infrastructure-focused investments in the Inflation Reduction Act that we’ve long advocated for in support of safer, more accessible and more connected biking.
30C Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit Expansion
- Thanks to bike policy champion Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), one tax provision where e-bikes won is the expansion of the 30C tax credit, which gives qualifying businesses a 30%, up to $30,000, tax credit for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The update in the Inflation Reduction Act will expand the tax credit to support micromobility charging, specifically for “two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles” like electric bicycles, tricycles and scooters.
- As more Americans choose electric micromobility for transportation, businesses should consider how they can support and encourage this kind of travel by installing secure parking and charging infrastructure.
Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants
- The Inflation Reduction Act will create a new $3 billion program titled “Neighborhood Access and Equity Grants” intended to supplement the $1 billion Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Though slightly different in the details, the programs are designed to support projects in communities divided by highways through rebuilding with equitable mobility infrastructure. Bike lanes, multi-use paths and sidewalks would be eligible projects under this fund.
- PeopleForBikes advocated for these programs and for increased funding for them alongside a diverse coalition of transportation and equity advocacy groups through IIJA and reconciliation negotiations.
Forest Legacy Program Funding
- The U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program (FLP) will get another $700 million from the Inflation Reduction Act, which could go toward trail funding and maintenance as natural climate solutions in private forest land across the nation.
- PeopleForBikes supported this effort as part of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition, though unfortunately funding for urban parks under the FLP was not included in the final reconciliation bill.