Employers may pay all or a portion of a commuting employee’s transit pass costs in order to incentivize employees to leave their cars at home. These subsidies can be applied to bus passes, subway passes, commuter rail passes, and other modes of transportation.
Offering subsidies not only helps employees make the transition from driving to taking mass transit, but also helps employers realize a tax savings. Employers can provide up to $105 per month in tax-free transit/vanpool benefits to employees. The employer does not pay payroll taxes on the benefit, and employees do not pay income or payroll taxes on it. As a result, giving an employee $105 in transit/vanpool benefits is less expensive for an employer than raising the employee’s salary by $105, and the employee takes more home. In addition, employers offering a transit subsidy of $30 per month per employee may be eligible for national recognition under the University of South Florida’s Best Workplaces for Commuters program.
Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- The Colonnade Hotel
- Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
- IRS 2015 Employers Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits (p.18)
- Massachusetts Commuter Deduction for Individuals
- Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits Table – National Center for Transit Research
- MBTA Pass Program
- Best Workplaces for Commuters
- Edenred Consumer Benefits Solutions
- 2013 Commuter Benefits