Monday, June 10, 2013

Employer incentives for transit

Reflection: Even American Drivers like Mass Transit More than They Should
I was surprised when I read the article “Even American Drivers like Mass Transit More than they Should”. The article reports the findings of a study published in the journal Transportation Policy. The
study found 30 percent of commuters in Boston and Cambridge, MA gave up their parking permits after trying out a free transit pass for a week. Although the outcome may have been swayed by factors like high gas prices, 30 percent is still a high number. However, one wonders how affective transit is as an incentive. Many companies offer their employees transit passes as part of their benefits. Federal tax code, section 132 (f) was made to offer commuter benefits and provide tax incentives to employees who use transportation as a means of reducing congestion and improving air quality. Employers may provide workers with up to $240 a month in tax-free transit and commuter highway vehicle benefits. (Section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code).

In addition to incentives for public transit, the code gives incentives for those who ride their bicycles. The code states for an employee who uses their bike for a substantial portion of travel between the employee’s residence and place of work qualifies for benefits. The benefits include the purchase of a new bicycle, repairs, improvements, and storage. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Thanks Luanda Fiscella

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