PICKERINGTON, OH – June 29, 202 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – In great news for motorcyclists, the embattled federal Recreational Trails Program that faced possible extinction exists in a massive transportation bill approved by Congress on June 29, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.
The spending authorization bill, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” known as Map-21, includes $85 million a year through fiscal 2014 for the trails program, which provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses.
The measure now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.
The original Senate-backed transportation proposal, S. 1813, would have effectively ended the RTP by severing the program from its dedicated funding. But Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and several bipartisan cosponsors offered an amendment in March to S. 1813, which was approved by the full Senate, to continue the RTP.
The House version of the transportation bill included the $85 million a year in RTP funding, and the House-Senate compromise bill approved by both chambers and sent to the president on June 29 includes that amount.
“Motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders by the thousands spoke about the benefits of the Recreational Trails Program and the fact that it’s funded by off-highway vehicle users,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. “Federal lawmakers listened and continued this vital program.”
Funds for the RTP come from the federal Highway Trust Fund and represent a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use. In other words, taxes generated by fuel used for off-highway vehicle recreation — by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks — fund the RTP.
The RTP is an assistance program of the U.S. Transportation Department’s Federal Highway Administration. The RTP program benefits hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, ATV riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA honors the heroes and the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.