Commuting into work can be expensive – particularly in markets such as San Francisco, Washington DC and New York City. Employees and employers alike can save with Commuter Benefits and that is now easier than ever in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Recently, the California Senate passed legislation authorizing the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to jointly adopt the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Ordinance, expanding the current San Francisco law into additional counties. In essence, this ordinance requires employers in the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties with more than 50 full time employees to offer one of the following four Commuter Benefit options by Sept 30, 2014:
- A pre-tax transit benefit
- An employer provided subsidy
- Free or low-cost employer-provided transportation
- An alternative employer-provided commuter benefit
With this ordinance, the Bay Area has further established itself as a model for enacting laws focused on environmental protection and preservation while balancing economic needs. The legislation provides an incentive for commuters to use public transportation, which helps reduce traffic and improve air quality by lowering carbon emissions. It is also a boon for both Bay Area employees and employers alike. With a pre-tax transit benefit employees can save on the cost of commuting by paying for their commute with pre-tax dollars (up to a monthly maximum currently set at $130). Using a WageWorks pre-tax transit benefit program, employees can save up to an estimated $625 annually on their commuting expenses.
And, employers also save by driving down payroll taxes with every employee pre-tax payroll deduction. Companies can save up to an estimated $120 annually in reduced payroll taxes per enrolled employee.
To learn how WageWorks can help you save by taking advantage of the San Francisco Bay Area Commuter Benefits Ordinance, join us for a webinar* on Wednesday, June 3rd at 2pm EST or, visit us at www.wageworks.com/bay-area-commuter-benefits.
At WageWorks we believe that everyone deserves an easier and less expensive commute!
* The webinar occurred but please register to watch the recorded webinar.