WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb 6, outdoor recreation champions in the House of Representatives introduced the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Funding Transparency Act (H.R. 5767). Boulder-based advocacy group PeopleForBikes lauded the move as a huge potential win for all trail users, including people on bikes. Leading the bipartisan bill are Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-At Large), Chris Stewart (R-UT-03), Angie Craig (D-MN-02), Mike Simpson (R-ID-02) and Ann Kuster (D-NH-02).
The RTP is funded by federal taxes collected on fuels used in non-highway recreation activities. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that $270 million is collected annually in these tax categories but only $82 million has been allocated to the RTP program in each of the last three fiscal years.
The new legislation would authorize a non-highway recreational fuel study in order to analyze the taxes collected on fuels used in non-highway recreation activities. Such a study could justify significant funding increases for the RTP, which Congress would have to authorize.
“American trails need a boost, and evaluating resources for the Recreational Trails Program is a crucial step in the right direction,” said PeopleForBikes COO Jenn Dice. “We’re proud to support this bipartisan bill that will ensure our recreational trails stay open and continue to offer safe and fun biking experiences for future generations.”
Since 1991, the RTP has provided funds to states to develop and maintain more than 25,000 recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. A healthy and vibrant trail network is essential for boosting local economies, supporting healthy tourism and expanding recreation options for all visitors. At PeopleForBikes, our mission is to make every bike ride better, and we know that a resilient and accessible trail system is paramount in making that goal a reality.
PeopleForBikes is making better biking for everyone by uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses, and hundreds of communities. Because when people ride bikes, great things happen. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.