I have been informed by a fellow Yale employee and bicycle commuter that Yale University is not currently planning to take action on the Bicycle Commuter Benefits Act that was passed in the fall as part of the bailout package. As The New York Times summarized it, as of Jan. 1, “Employers who provide bike parking, bathing facilities, tune-ups or other support for bicycle commuting can deduct up to $20 a month per participating employee from their own taxable income.”
As a Yale employee who commutes every day by bicycle, I was excited when this act passed, and assumed the University would gladly get on board with it as part of Yale’s ongoing effort to be a leader in “green” initiatives. I personally know employees throughout the University who commute entirely or partially by bike, and I’m sure all of Yale’s bikers would be happy to see the University pursue this benefit on their behalf.
It seems unfortunate that the Commuter Benefits Program page on the Yale Benefits site currently lists benefits programs only for those who commute by car or public transit. I hope Yale will see the merit of this new act and take advantage of it as a way both to benefit employees who commute by bike and to strengthen its leadership in adopting green initiatives.
Jessica J. Johnson
The writer is an office assistant at the Yale School of Music and a 2008 graduate of Morse College.