Benefits Law - Intro

New York City Commuter Benefits Law

Tax Returns - StockMonkeys.comOn January 1, 2016, the City of New York's new commuter benefits law (Local Law No. 53) takes effect. Under the new law, for-profit and nonprofit employers located in New York City with 20 or more full-time employees, must offer their full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits, other than qualified parking.

Contact us to schedule a meeting to develop a customized commuter benefits program for your organization.  For more information on the employer-sponsored commuter benefit programs please visit the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

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commuter faqs

What is a commuter benefits program?

A program that allows full-time employees to use pre-tax income to pay for commuting costs, reducing the amount of taxable income and ultimately yielding savings for both employer and employee. Employers must offer a commuter benefits program in order for employees to sign up. 

Which employees are covered under NYC's new Commuter Benefits law?

Full-time employees of for-profit and nonprofit organizations that employ more than 20 full-time non-union employees in New York City are covered. This includes chain businesses as well as temporary staffing agencies.

How does it work?

511NY Rideshare can help employers develop a customized commuter benefits program based on the employer's unique needs (i.e. expected participation, the commuting modes available, etc.).  Employers then have the option of working with a third-party provider to administer the commuter benefits program. Contact us to schedule a meeting to develop a customized commuter benefits program for your organization.

Who are the third-party providers?

Below is a list of third-party providers that manage and administer commuter benefits programs.  An employer may choose any provider that offers the commuter benefits plan that works best for its business.

Provider Website Contact Information
Benefit Resource, Inc.
(866) 996-5200 Ext. 212
Commuter Benefit Solutions (800) 531-2828
Qualified Transportation Benefits
(516) 794-1953 Ext. 22
WageWorks (866) 602-3887
TotalBen, LLC
(718) 535-7070

How do employees sign up for the program?

Employees sign up through their employers.  Employers MUST provide their eligible employees with the appropriate enrollment materials to participate in the commuter benefits program.   511NY Rideshare can visit employer's offices and work with employees on understanding commuter benefits, providing basic commuter information, and registering them for vanpool matches. Contact us to schedule a meeting.

What types of transportation costs are covered under the law?

Public or privately-owned mass transit (i.e. subway, train, bus and ferry), commuter vans (vanpools) with a seating capacity of six or more passengers, and qualified parking expenses.  The following are NOT covered:  tolls, taxis, carpooling, gas/fuel, mileage, business trip expenses, airport parking fees and parking fees at your home.

Does the law cover "dollar vans" or other commercial commuter van services?

Yes. The Commuter Benefits Law covers eligible commercial commuter van services that meet the requirements under IRS Code § 132(5) (A) (iii).

What are the current monthly tax-free allowable limits?

As of 2018, the current monthly limit is $255 for transit and eligible vanpooling.

What kinds of savings can employees and employers experience under NYC's Commuter Benefits Law?

Employers do not have to pay taxes on the funds allocated for employees' commuting costs, an average savings of 7.65% in payroll taxes. 

Employees who participate in the program don't have to pay income taxes on the funds covering commuting costs, saving up to 40% each month. 

What is a commuter benefits program?


Does participating in a commuter benefits program help the environment?

Yes. Commuter benefits provide a financial incentive to use mass transit or vanpooling, which can result in less traffic congestion in New York City.