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August 05, 2008
Gas Prices Are Driving Force Behind Commuter Bill
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h gas prices exceeding $4 per gallon, many commuters are feeling the pain at the pump. Although some employers have revved up their commuter benefits in response, at least one lawmaker has proposed that the federal government launch a 3-year pilot program to provide relief.

Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-Ohio) has introduced HR 6154, The Commuter Relief and Fuel Efficiency Act of 2008, which would reimburse commuters 4¢ or 5¢ per mile, depending on their vehicle's fuel efficiency, for up to 30 miles per day, 5 days per week, and 50 weeks per year.

For vehicles getting at least 35 miles per gallon, that translates to a break of $1.75 per gallon of gas (5¢ x 35 mpg), a maximum of $375 annually for a daily 30-mile roundtrip, according to LaTourette.

Commuters who are reimbursed for their mileage by an employer are not eligible for the relief proposed in HR 6154. The bill was referred to a subcommittee of the House's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

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