The Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees in the Bay Area to offer commuter benefits to their employees. Employers subject to the Program must select and implement their program by September 30, 2014.
Employers with 50 or more full-time employees
Within the nine county region of the San Francisco Bay Area
|Photo courtesy of Capitol Corridor|
Employers subject to the Program have six months to implement a benefit program and report compliance by September 30, 2014.
Employers are given the flexibility to offer one or more of the following commuter benefit options to their employees:
- Option 1: Pre-Tax Beneﬁt - Allow employees to exclude up to $130 of their transit or vanpooling expenses each month from taxable income.
- Option 2: Employer-Provided Subsidy - Provide a subsidy to reduce or cover employees' monthly transit or vanpool costs, up to $75 per month.
- Option 3: Employer-Provided Transit - Provide a free or low-cost transit service for employees, such as a bus, shuttle or vanpool service.
- Option 4: Alternative Commuter Beneﬁt - Provide an alternative commuter beneﬁt that is as eﬀective in reducing single-occupancy commute trips as Options 1, 2 or 3.
To reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips during commute hours, thus reducing vehicle emissions, improving air quality and decreasing
traffic congestion. Motor vehicle trips are a major contributor of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Commute trips to and from work represent a significant portion of vehicle travel. Historically in the Bay Area and other metropolitan regions, employers who offer commuter benefit programs see an increase in the use of alternative commute modes (transit, carpooling, vanpooling, biking, walking, and teleworking) by their employees.
Photo courtesy of Capitol Corridor
Register by visiting the Commuter Benefits Program webpage at 511.org. Resources for the Program are available on this webpage including free Employer Assistance. Visit 511.org and click Commuter Benefits Program for the details.
Celebrate Earth Day with 511!
How will your organization celebrate Earth Day? Visit 511's Go Green page for ideas.
511.org hosts a suite of services that can help your employees plan "clean commutes" that will reduce their impact on the environment. 511 RideMatch Service can help employees find carpool partners based on their start and end points or based on their route. The 511 Trip Planner is a great tool to plan transit trips, and the 511 Bike Mapper tool can help cyclists map the best route to work.
511 will even reward your employees for making a change! Employees who track their clean commute trips using the 511 Trip Diary could win tickets to local museums, sporting events and shows.
Visit 511.org's Go Green page for more information.
|From Green to Greenest - Bus to Bike Commuter!
Eric Eisenhart, Sonoma State University
I have never had a driver's license. When I first started my current job, there was a convenient bus near my house. About 10 years ago, they changed the bus schedules and I started biking to work. Now that is almost all I do. It is 11.6 miles one way and takes me 45-55 minutes. If it is raining or I am tight on time, I will ride my bike four miles to catch an express bus.
I know I have it easier than some people because my job allows me to dress casually and it's easy to change at work. There are still so many benefits to biking that I would do it even if it weren't quite so simple. My endurance has increased and I have lost weight since I started biking regularly. I am also saving money, about $1,300 a year, and helping to keep the air clean each workday.
If your commute is not very long, five miles or less, I say just roll up a pant leg and get on a bike. I think people overthink biking and make it more complicated than it is. I would also suggest trying different routes. Often the back roads you would not drive are the best for bicycling because there is less traffic.
Biking is a great stress reliever and a great way to start the day. That's my favorite part of biking to work. I get to start the day with a bike ride!
Share your Commuter Convert Story here.
|Bay Area Bike Share Update
Did you know that Bay Area residents, employees and visitors have taken more than 800 bicycle trips a day using Bay Area Bike Share since the program launched last summer?
Those trips add up to over 260,000 miles, a distance further than a trip to the moon!
Visit www.bayareabikeshare.com to start biking today or to find out more!