Elimination of Bicycle Voucher Program
The 2018 tax reform package referred to as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" made significant changes to employee benefit programs by amending certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 132 (f). This Act eliminated the bicycle commuter benefit.
Effective January 1, 2018, the NIH can no longer provide a bicycle commuter subsidy.
In order to reduce vehicle traffic congestion and air pollution, the NIH Office of Research Services (ORS), Division of Amenities and Transportation Services (DATS), has implemented a Bicycle Subsidy Program.
The United States Congress has expanded legislation under the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit (IRC Tax Code 132(f)) allowing for employers to give a subsidy to employees who commute to work by bicycle. This new legislation, although modest ($20 a month) and restrictive (cannot receive parking benefits or Transhare in conjunction with the bicycle subsidy) is still a big step forward for alternative commuting options. DATS is aware that some in Congress want to expand or increase the bicycle commuting benefits. DATS is monitoring pending legislative bills and will implement any future enhancements to the Subsidy Program.
NIH is the nation’s premier medical facility and, as such, should be an example to the nation for healthier commuting and life styles. Bicycling is part of the culture here at NIH. NIH has won the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ award for the last five years for the employer with the most bike-to-work day participants. NIH has as many as 600 commuters bicycling daily. Cycling has many personal benefits, including stress relief, physical fitness, weight loss, and commuter-expense savings. The benefit to the environment by bicycling can best be defined by the motto found on the jerseys of the NIH Bike Club members, which reads “Non-polluter Commuter.”
To enroll in the Bicycle Subsidy Program, please read the NIH Bicycling Policy and submit an Application to the Employee Transportation Services Office (ETSO). ETSO must receive the original signed application. Any applications that are received by mail and are incomplete will not be processed. ETSO encourages an in-person pickup of benefits (Commuter Check Vouchers, redeemable at designated bike shops) at the NIH Parking Office. All enrolled employees assigned to the NIH Campus must pick up their benefits at Parking Office. All enrolled participants who do not work on the NIH campus may request to have their benefits mailed to their home address. ETSO is not responsible for any Vouchers that are lost, stolen, or that do not arrive in the mail.
Please read carefully the NIH Bicycle Subsidy Policy before submitting the NIH Bicycle Subsidy Application. Please contact the ETSO, (301) 496-5050, if you have any questions.