We need transportation options

I want you to call your representative, or better call your representative’s legislative assistant on energy or transportation, and say you support the newly introduced H.R. 6495, “To authorize programs and activities to support transportation and housing options that will assist American families in reducing transportation costs, and for other purposes.” (OpenCongress, missing full text for now) (THOMAS, for full text.)

The size and diversity of the United States, plus wildly different concepts behind how succeeding generations of housing were built, means there’s no single solution to the emerging fuel and transportation crisis. Urban-style bus systems won’t work in the suburbs (though there are alternatives). Not everyone can telecommute. There’s not enough biomass to convert fuel systems away from petroleum, and so on.

H.R. 6495 proposes a number of fixes, including increasing the limit for transportation fringe benefit; if you get SmarTrip in D.C., you know the limit is $115 a month; this would be raised to $200. There’s also a proposed $400 telework technology tax credit, a bicycle tax credit, consideration given to transportation in Section 8 housing programs, transit-oriented mortgages support, encouragement of pay-as-you-go car insurance, and expanded funds for promoting transit. Lots of options to help people get out of — or avoid the need for — single-occupancy cars.

Again, call your rep or your rep’s legislative assistant and show your support. It’s a far better option than what Ms. Theologian’s rep is considering.