The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce encourages employers to become more green and receive government reimbursement by promoting their employees to ride bicycles to work. According to the Commuter Bike Act of 2008, businesses can receive funds for employees who use bikes to commute to work on a regular basis.
The Commuter Bike Act states, “Employers may reimburse employees, tax free, for “reasonable” expenses related to their bike commute, including equipment purchases, bike purchases, repairs, and storage if the bicycle is used as a “substantial part” of the commuter’s trip to work for the month.”
This program is an incentive to have Miami Beach employees ride bicycles to work to reduce their carbon footprint, improve their health and receive reimbursement for it. The bike provision was part of a larger Renewable Energy Tax Credit Initiatives legislation. The Commuter Bike Act is a simple, equitable provision that puts bicyclists in the same arena as people who get tax breaks for taking public transit to and from work.
Jerry Libbin, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s President & CEO, met with Colbert Reese, DECOBIKE’s Vice President, at the first DECOBIKE solar-powered automated station on 10th and Ocean to become DECOBIKE’s first Ambassador member.
Mr. Reese explained, “If you ride your bike to work at least 10 days a month, you qualify for the Commuter Bike Act.”
DECOBIKE is the official City of Miami Beach’s Public Bicycle Sharing and Rental Program. It is a green initiative aimed at promoting Miami Beach’s residents and visitors to use the bikes for daily transportation. An individual can pick up a bicycle at a specific station on South Beach, ride it to their destination, and upon arrival drop it off at another nearby DECOBIKE station. It is an affordable and convenient way to travel around the streets of Miami Beach, and with the new shared bike lanes, it is now safer than ever to ride a bicycle!
DECOBIKE opened its first station on the streets of Ocean Drive in December 2010 with 16 new bikes for Miami Beach residents and visitors to ride and experience the benefits of this great program. New DECOBIKE stations are popping up every day; within the first week of January 2011, DECOBIKE installed 5 new stations on Ocean Drive, Lincoln Road, Washington Avenue with several more to come. This citywide public transportation system has been used in world class cities such as Barcelona and Paris, and Miami Beach has now adopted it as an alternative means of transportation.
Colbert Reese said, “DECOBIKE is a very grassroots organization and wants to give back to the community by spreading the benefits of the Commuter Bike Act and assisting local companies by advertising their logos on the front of the bicycles.”
Miami Beach is a perfect location for the concept of DECOBIKE for it has beautiful weather for bike riding all year long; In addition, by informing residents about the Commuter Bike Act, the company is educating the public about this initiative to ride a bike to work. For more information on DECOBIKE and membership please visit their website at www.decobike.com.