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Employers – Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program

Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program
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Bay Area employers with 50 or more employees are now required to register for the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program. Through this program, employers must offer their employees one of four Commuter Benefit options in order to comply with CA Senate Bill 1339, signed into law in October 2012. Commuter benefits encourage employees to take transit, vanpool, carpool, bicycle and walk rather than drive alone to work. View the Program Requirements

Employers with fewer than 50 Bay Area employees may be subject to a local commuter benefits ordinance.

This Program Supports Employers Through:

  • Potential payroll tax savings
  • Enhanced employee recruitment
  • Improved employee retention
  • Reduced employee health costs
  • Reduced employee stress

Program News and Highlights

  • What Are The Steps To Register?
    • Designate commuter benefits coordinator
    • Click registration button
    • Create username and password
    • Select a commuter benefit option
    • Notify employees
    • Complete by September 30, 2014

    Learn More

  • How do Commuter Tax Benefits Work?
    • Originates from IRS Revenue Code, Section 132(f) Publication 15b
    • Provides tax free transportation fringe benefits
    • Benefits for transit or vanpool expenses
    • Employer subsidy or employee-paid with pre-tax dollars

    Learn More

  • Factors to Consider In Selecting a Commuter Benefit Option
    • Your worksite location
    • Available transportation options
    • Employee demographics
    • Your business needs
    • Budget and available resources
    • Direct input from your employees

    Learn More | Additional Assistance

The 2010 Commuter Benefit Impact Survey found that among employers who offer commuter benefits, 72% believe that this increases employee job satisfaction, 64% see the benefits as helpful in retaining their current employees, and 61% see the benefits as useful in recruiting new employees. View the survey results (PDF). View examples of current, local employer programs.
 

Need Assistance?

Employer Services Representatives are available in each county to provide free assistance. Please click on the following link based on your employer location or call 511 and say "Commuter Benefits."

What are my options?

  1. Option 1 — Allow employees to exclude their transit or vanpool costs from taxable income, to the maximum amount, as allowed by federal law (currently $130 per month).
  2. Option 2 — Employer-provided transit or vanpool subsidy up to $75 per month.
  3. Option 3 — Employer-provided free or low cost bus, shuttle or vanpool service operated by or for the employer.
  4. Option 4 — An alternative employer-provided commuter benefit that is as effective as in reducing single occupant vehicles as Options 1-3.

Ready to get started?

©2014 Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Company headquarters, whether single or multiple worksites, will receive one employer ID per company to register for the Program. The employer ID will be provided through a "Notice to Register" by direct mail from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to each company CEO/President to designate a staff member to complete the registration process. Employers will receive the "Notice to Register" the week of March 31st. The registration site will go live on 3/31/14.

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