Why a Commuter Benefit Program is Good for Your Company
The number of vehicles on local highways within the next 20 years is expected to increase significantly. By 2020 truck traffic is expected to double. Commuter miles are also expected to double. The daily traffic on the bridges spanning the Susquehanna River is expected to increase by 70 to 80 percent. With this growth, traffic congestion will grow. Businesses around the Harrisburg area can help by establishing a Commuter Benefit Program at your organization.
Not only does a Commuter Benefit program make it easier for employees to get to work and try transportation alternatives, the program offers tax saving benefits for employers.
Commuter Benefit Program
The Federal government allows employers a tax deduction, as well as a reduction in payroll taxes, for providing their employees with the cost of public transit. The Commuter Benefit Program allows an employer to provide, either through an employee benefit or a payroll deduction plan, up to $230 per month in pre-tax transit vouchers.
How To Use
Employers have several options in implementing the Commuter Benefit Program. In either case, the employer is not permitted to reduce the employee’s compensation in exchange for providing this benefit.
Purchase TransitChek® Vouchers.
Employers purchase vouchers, called TransitCheks®, issued through the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC). The employer then issues the vouchers to participating employees. Employees, in turn, present the vouchers as payment to a participating transit agency. CAT and Amtrak are both participants in the Harrisburg area.
TransitChek® enables employers of any size to subsidize employees’ commutes on public transit or vanpools. Employees can receive up to $230 a month or $2760 a year in TransitCheks®. The current cost of a CAT monthly pass is as low as $45.
Purchase monthly passes directly from Capital Area Transit. Employers can choose to purchase monthly pass tickets or monthly passes directly from Capital Area Transit. The employer issues the tickets or monthly passes to each participating employee.
There is no required length of time for an individual to participate in a Commuter Benefit Program. If for whatever reason they do not want to purchase a pass for a particular month that is ok.
For more information on the Commuter Benefit Program, call CAT. A representative of CAT will be pleased to meet and explain the Commuter Benefit program to area employers.
Emergency Ride Home
Emergency ride home is offered through the COMMUTER SERVICES of Pennsylvania at 1-866-579-RIDE or www.PaCommuterServices.org.