I was reading through my daily reddit bicycling posts and came across something quite interesting. Apparently a law in the US, which was originally supposed to increase users of public transportation by allowing companies to pay each person (tax free) $20 a month, has been updated to include bicycle commuters. You can read about it here.
The one huge catch is this isn't a requirement by companies. Under no circumstance can you simply say "I bike to work, give me $20". But, there are many reasons why your company might want you to. First off, a healthy employee is a happy employee. Biking, as we all know, helps keep people fit, which in turn, should lower your chances of getting sick. It will also help our environment by keeping people out of cars and using up gas.
Both of those are probably not enough for a company to hand over the $20. But, for me, I think I know what could. Parking spaces. The company I work for has a lot of employees. We have 6 buildings to occupy and the parking spaces are simply not enough. People park illegally every day, blocking fire lanes and basically parking anywhere they can. We do have a lot of bike commuters... but I know of quite a few who are on the brink of deciding whether or not to do it. I am certain that if they were given $20 to keep their bike maintained (or even to buy a bike) the number of commuters would triple. Hell, even more!
And Kungfoo - They even have something similar to this over in the UK. Check it out!
As for me and my biking to work... hasn't happened in quite some time. I did it once back in December, but the cold was too much. I simply don't know how MNBicycleCommuter and ArcticGlass can manage it! Perhaps if my company starts this incentive, I will join the hardened ranks of winter bikers!