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Employers – Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program

Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program
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As of September 30, 2014, Bay Area employers with 50 or more full-time employees within the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) geographic boundaries are required to register and offer commuter benefits to their employees in order to comply with Air District Regulation 14, Rule 1, also known as the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program.

Employers must select one of four Commuter Benefit options to offer their employees:

Step 1: if you have not registered, do so as soon as possible;
Step 2: offer benefits to employees if you have not yet;
Step 3: request an extension from the Air District if you need more time to offer benefits.

Employers that need an extension to offer commuter benefits should contact the Air District at commuterbenefits@baaqmd.gov. In the email, please indicate the reason for the extension and specify the date by which benefits will be offered to employees. Please include your employer ID # if you have this available. If you need assistance with the employer ID #, contact your local Employer Services Representative.

Commuter Benefits Testimonial Video

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

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.

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

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 subsidy (or transit pass) 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.

View Option 4 Guide

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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