This much-anticipated amendment includes a number of important changes to the tax plan, including fitting the package within the constraints imposed by the Senate’s so-called “Byrd Rule,” which places limits on what can be adopted under the reconciliation process.
One part of this amendment is to repeal the federal bicycle commuter benefit. The quick and dirty history of this is that Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) had long advocated for a bicycle commuter benefit to more fairly treat cyclists considering the parking and transit benefits other workers get. In a cruel twist, the idea, after being rejected numerous times, was watered down and added to the ??? bill in an effort to get Blumenauer's vote (it didn't). So it went into law in 2009. As written, it allows an employee to exclude up to $20 per month in qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements. This has to be a benefit explicitly for bike commuting, and employees can't set their own money aside pre-tax. Nor can they combine it with the transit or parking benefit. So, I suspect it has few takers (Full disclosure: I'm one).
Blumenauer has advocated for making the benefit better, like allowing you to use it for bike share, increasing it, allowing commuters to put in their own money pre-tax and/or allowing commuters to get it in combination with another benefit (just like they can get both parking and transit if they want); but none of that has gotten anywhere.
No one, as far as I know, has done a study of how much it costs or what the effect of it has been. It was originally expected to cost $1M a year. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that it costs no more than $5M a year, which (by my math) would mean that ~63,000 people are getting the full $240 benefit (and that they would have been paid that money even without the carve out - a dubious claim).
I can't easily assert that it induces more people to bike commute (though that's how both parties normally talk about taxes, that they effect behavior). And I have no idea what it really costs. So without knowing either the costs or the benefits, it's impossible to say if it's worth it. Perhaps we should figure some of those things out before we call it a failure and quit.