Commuter Benefits Program | Plans + Projects | Our Work

Commuter Benefits Program

The Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program takes advantage of a federal tax code that encourages you to do something other than drive to work… alone.

MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District are also authorized by state law to implement this program on a pilot basis through 2016.

Ferry commuters

Ferry commuters.

Noah Berger

Designed to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion, this program requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer commuter benefit options to their workers.

Saving Options for Everyone

  • Pre-tax benefit - allows employees to exclude from taxable income up to $130 of transit or vanpool expenses each month. This can save both employees and employers money through lower taxes!
  • Employer-provided subsidy - provide up to $75 each month to reduce or cover employees’ transit or vanpool costs
  • Employer-provided transit - provide a free or low-cost transit service (bus, shuttle or vanpool) for employees
  • Alternative commuter benefit - provide another commuter benefit that is equally effective in reducing single-occupancy commute trips as options 1, 2 or 3

Employer Assistance Available!

MTC offers assistance to help you implement this program for your employees.

Simply call 511 and say ‘Commuter Benefits’ at the first prompt. Or visit our Commuter Benefits Program today.

MTC and the Air District modeled the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program on commuter benefits ordinances previously established in San Francisco, Berkeley and Richmond, as well as at San Francisco International Airport.

Our 511 rideshare program helps employers comply with the Commuter Benefits Program.

Simply call 511 and say ‘Commuter Benefits’ at the first prompt.

Or visit our Commuter Benefits Program.

When employees choose the pre-tax benefit option, the reduction in taxable income allows you to reduce your Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.

You can save as much as 40 percent on monthly transit or vanpool costs by excluding these costs from taxable income.