Companies can encourage their employees to use mass transit by offering tax-free commuter benefits. Employees with access to such programs can use pre-tax dollars to pay for train, subway, and bus passes – saving them money and incenting them out of their cars.
According to a recent study commissioned by TransitCenter, Inc., one in five employees who sign up for tax-free commuter benefits ditches the car in favor of mass transit. The study also indicated that 53% of employees who don’t have access to these benefits would use them if available.
Four in 10 employees surveyed report that their employers offer tax-free commuter benefits programs
Among those who reported working at a company offering commuter benefits, 62 percent say they participate in the program
- Among employees who signed up for commuter benefits, 41 percent increased their use of mass transit, and 46 percent increased their mass transit usage during weekends
- 18% of employees enrolled in the program went car-free.
Commuter benefits packages may save employers money in the long run: companies need to maintain fewer parking spaces on site. Employees using mass transit are likely to be healthier and perhaps more productive as a result.
Of course fewer cars on the road benefit us all in terms of reduced pollution, cost of subsidized infrastructure, and individual costs of car ownership.
See also: Public Transportation Could Save the World.
Photo via flickr by Different Wave Photography.
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