Employers Now Required to Offer Employees a Commuter Benefit

New legislation passed in September 2012 is requiring employers of 50 or more employees to offer a regional commute benefit, SB 1339 the Regional Commuter Law. Transportation is the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area. Reducing the growth of vehicles miles traveled is necessary to achieve the State’s climate goals set by AB 32 and SB 375.

Bay Area employers are must now comply with a pilot program that requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees in the Bay Area to offer commuter benefits to their employees.

The Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program requires employers subject to the program to complete the following tasks by September 30, 2014:

Employers of 50 or more employees will have the flexibility to offer their employees one of the following:
Option 1 — Allow employees to exclude their transit or vanpool costs from taxable income, to the maximum amount, as allowed by federal law (currently $130 per month).
Option 2 — Employe-provided transit or vanpool subsidy of at least $75 per month;
Option 3 — Employer-provided free or low cost buss, shuttle or vanpool operated by or for the employer;
Option 4 — or An alternative program that provides similar benefits in reducing single occupied vehicles.

Download the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program Frequently Asked Questions.

For further information and to register your business visit https://commuterbenefits.511.org/.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved the pilot program. These regional agencies are responsible for air quality and transportation planning, respectively, for the nine-county Bay Area, which includes San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

To help businesses in Napa County meet this requirement entities like the Solano Napa Commuter Information (SNCI) can help your business meet alternative transportation requirements by providing commute options. For additional information you may contact Sorel Klein at (707) 427-5101 or sklein@sta-snci.com.

Rideshare511.org Legislative Summary

Updated 3/31/14