WageWorks Inc. applauds the efforts of Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray and the Council of the District of Columbia for amending the city’s Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 to allow for greater expansion of transit benefits.
The move by the city government makes transit benefits available to those working at companies with 20 or more employees. The mayor and council hope this legislation will encourage more people to use mass transit and help relieve congested roads and highways in and around the nation’s capital.
“We have seen the success of similar ordinances, such as the San Francisco Commuter Benefits ordinance, and believe this is smart public policy that saves money for employers and employees,” said Dan Neuburger, president of WageWorks Commuter Services. “Local elected officials such as Mayor Gray are doing their part to help working Americans and their employers.”
The new law would take effect after Congressional review and states that by January 1, 2016, covered employers with 20 or more employees need to provide one of three transit benefits programs to its employees:
- A pre-tax election transportation benefits program that provides commuter highway vehicle, transit or bicycling benefits
- An employer-paid benefits program that supplies a transit pass requested by the covered employee or reimbursement of vanpool or bicycling costs in an amount at least equal to the purchase price of a transit pass
- Employer-provided transportation at no cost to the covered employee in a vanpool or bus operated by or for the employer
Employers who offer commuter benefits encourage more people to use public transportation, thereby reducing road congestion and lessening carbon emissions while lowering an employer’s payroll taxes. Pre-tax commuter accounts also help companies recruit and retain happy, healthy, and productive employees. To find out how much employees can save, visit the WageWorks Commuter Savings Calculator.