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Bay Area Employers Required to Offer Commuter Benefits to Their Employees

What is this?

The Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program, Senate Bill 1339 signed into law September 30, 2012, was unanimously approved by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). A new rule (Regulation 14, Rule 1), developed by Air District staff in cooperation with MTC, was approved by the governing board of Air District on March 19 and fully approved by the MTC governing board on March 27, 2014.

The intent of this legislation is to encourage employees to use some form of public transportation for commuting other than driving alone. Employee commuter costs include transit passes, vanpool, and bicycle commuting expenses.

What does this mean?

Any "Covered Employer," those with an average of 50 or more full-time employees who perform work for compensation within the 9 San Francisco Bay Area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco, must offer and implement at least one of the following commuter benefit options by September 30, 2014.

  • Option 1 - Allow employees to exclude their transit or vanpooling expenses from taxable income, up to $130 per month.
  • Option 2 - Provide a subsidy to reduce or cover employees' monthly transit or vanpool costs, up to a maximum of $75 per month.
  • Option 3 - Provide a free or low-cost transit service for employees, such as a bus, shuttle, or vanpool service.
  • Option 4 - Provide an alternative commuter benefit that is as effective in reducing single-occupancy commute trips as Options 1, 2, or 3.

If I already offer a commuter benefit that meets one of the options, do I need to do anything?

Yes. You will still need to register with the Air District/MTC. You will need to designate a Commuter Benefits Coordinator who should access the Program's website at and register. Once you are on the website, click the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program button.

What information will I need to complete the registration?

  • Your Company Code. Air District is mailing out a letter the week of March 31 to Covered Employers at their company’s headquarters. The letter provides you with your Company Code. If you do not receive this letter you can still obtain your Company Code by going to the Program’s website at
  • The name and contact information of your designated Commuter Benefits Coordinator.
  • The commuter benefit option that you currently offer (option 1, 2, 3, or 4).
  • Your full-time employee count.

What if I do not offer a commuter benefit that meets one of the options?

If you are a Covered Employer, you will need to evaluate the four commuter benefit options and select one (or more) of the options to offer to your employees by September 30, 2014. You will then need to register with the Air District/MTC. Your designated Commuter Benefits Coordinator should access the program's website at and register. You will need the same information as indicated in the previous bullet points.

Do I need to provide a commuter benefit to all my employees?

You only need to provide the commuter benefit to Covered Employees. Generally, a "Covered Employee" means an employee who performed at least an average of 20 hours of work per week within the previous calendar month within the 9 counties covered by this ordinance.

Where can I find additional information?

Everything you need to know about the Bay Area Commuter Benefit Program can be found by clicking on the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program button from the "511" website at On the website you will find a Program Overview, Employer Guide, FAQs, a list of commuter benefit providers, and a Fact sheet to share with your employees. Employee Case Studies, and other materials useful in implementing the Program are also available. You can also find a copy of the legislation, SB 1339, at:

Let WageWorks help you with your transit program. Contract your Relationship Manager or call 866-602-3887 for information about WageWorks commuter programs.