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Toolkit for Successful Implementation
Important Update on Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits:
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 expired on December 31st, changing the monthly pre-tax spending limit for transit and vanpools from $245 to $130 per month. Please talk to your payroll staff or benefits vendor for instructions on how to adjust employee pre-tax deductions accordingly.
Congress may act to reinstate parity between pre-tax transit and parking benefits in 2014. To stay updated:
If you would like to inform your Congress member of your support for permanent parity, please go to http://www.commuterbenefitsworkforus.com/.
Commuter Benefits enable employees to travel to work sustainably while saving money on their commuting costs. The Commuter Benefits Ordinance requires businesses in San Francisco with 20 or more employees nationwide to offer their San Francisco employees commuter benefits. Even if a business does not fall under the requirements of the Ordinance, commuter benefits are an important part of an overall benefits package and can help employers attract and retain their employees.
Employers subject to the Ordinance must offer one of three types of programs:
Pre-Tax Transportation Benefits – A monthly pre-tax deduction, up to $130/month, to pay for transit or vanpool expenses (as of January 1, 2014).
Employer-Paid Transportation Benefits – A monthly subsidy for transportation expenses equivalent to the price of the San Francisco Muni Fast Pass (including BART travel), currently $76/month.
Employer-Provided Transportation – A company-funded bus or van service between employee homes
CommuteSmart offers an Employer Guide to assist employers of all sizes in implementing commuter benefits programs. Use the step-by-step directions to develop a program that best fits with a company’s values, budget and employee needs. This guide is well-suited for any employer of any size seeking to offer commuter benefits.
CommuteSmart has prepared the following PowerPoint guides to assist employers in understanding commuter benefits and completing the Compliance Reporting Form:
Signs and Promotional Materials
Already have a Commuter Benefits Program?
Now that you’re offering employees pre-tax benefits for their commute, consider these other easy, low-cost solutions to help encourage use of sustainable transportation modes. Choose one or all, and know that you’re on the way to providing a full range of transportation program options.
Sign up for the free Emergency Ride Home program. Encourage employees to use sustainable modes by registering for this free City program. When commuters walk, bicycle, ride transit or share a ride to work, CommuteSmart will reimburse the cost of the ride if they need to leave work for an emergency. Employers must pre-register for this program before your employees can get reimbursed. Find program rules and an easy online registration form on our website.
Request a free consultation with CommuteSmart staff. Meet with CommuteSmart staff one-on-one or over the phone to discuss how to implement or add to existing transportation programs for employees by filling out an online request form.
Conduct an in-depth employee transportation survey. You’ve learned how your employees get to work, now learn more about why they’ve chosen their commute mode and barriers that may keep them from using a sustainable mode. Use this free survey, available through 511, to understand employee commute needs and concerns. We will compile the results in a report and go through the information to help design program options for each individual employer.
Custom ridematching site. CommuteSmart and 511 team together to offer employers a custom ridematching portal that fits seamlessly within a company’s website to assist employees find carpool and vanpool partners.
Employee residential density map. Get a map based on ZIP codes to help identify the best ways to help employees commute smart.
Invite CommuteSmart to company benefits fairs or presentations. CommuteSmart is available to attend company events to share sustainable transportation information with employees. Submit a free event request form on our website.
For more information, contact:
San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment)
City & County of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 355-3727
San Francisco is habitat for 800,000 people – meeting needs for space to work, play, and learn; for food, water, and air; for community with local flora and fauna. SF Environment provides support for urban agriculture and forestry and green buildings, helping residents and businesses harness environmental opportunities.