Summer is the season of vacation and working from home (at least on Fridays). Whether you’re going on a trip out of town or planning to enjoy a flexible work schedule, make sure you have everything you need. What’s on your checklist?
- change transit election
Did we catch you off guard with the last one? If you have a pre-tax mass transit account* through your employer, you might consider checking “change transit election” off your list before leaving town.
Check “Change Transit Election” Off Your List
There are several reasons you might want to check “change transit election” off your list.
You’re Going Out of Town
If you’re going out of town for a week or two (or a month, if you’re so lucky), your commuting expenses are likely to be less than your typical monthly commute. Instead of having the full funds withdrawn from your paycheck, reduce your election. Depending on your needs, you can reduce your monthly election by just a little or even set it to $0.
Be advised… When it comes to your election, what you choose for one month carries over to the next month unless you manually adjust it. So if you change your transit election to $75 for July because you’re going on vacation but you need it to go back up to $150 for August, you will need to remember to reset it manually.
You’re Switching Up Your Commute
Reduced / Flexible Summer Hours
If your company offers reduced summer hours, you might consider adjusting your transit or parking election accordingly. The same principle applies if your company allows flexible schedules with a work-from-home option. In both cases, instead of paying for the full cost of parking or transit, adjust your election down to meet your commuting needs.
Biking to Work
Biking to work (including a bicycle or motorcycle) is a more popular option during the summer. Instead of pay for commuting Monday through Friday, look into how cost effective a daily pass or pay-per-ride option would be. Although daily or pay-per-ride options are typically the most expensive commuting option, it might actually save you money, depending on how often you’re biking into work. Do the math to find out. We can’t guarantee it, but chances are that if you live close enough to bike to work, you’ll end up saving more by reducing your transit election and paying for a few daily passes.
Going from Parking to Mass Transit or Vise Versa
Depending on where you live and commuting options, you may decide to take mass transit to work during the summer instead of driving (or vice versa.) Maybe you’re tired of being in bumper to bumper traffic as tourists flock to the city for their summer vacation. You want to be able to sit in a peaceful, air-conditioned train compartment while you go to work.
If you know you’re going to be switching your commuting method for the summer, change your transit election (or parking election) to only pay for what you need and keep the extra in your paycheck.
Sold on the idea and want to change your transit election? Here are the steps:
How to Change Your Monthly Election
- Check your company’s Commuter Benefit Plan Specifications. It will list the available options for changing your election.
- Confirm whether or not your company offers web enrollment. Pay special attention to your enrollment cut-off periods.
- If web enrollment is available, log into your account on BRIWeb.com
- Select Enrollment/Changes from the left menu.
- Select your Commuter Benefit Plan, and follow the prompts to change your election.
You can always let it ‘ride’
Pre-tax mass transit accounts and parking accounts are a monthly benefit, which allows you the flexibility to change your elections with ease. PLUS, funds rollover from month to month. So, if you don’t get around to checking off “change your transit election” before vacation, you can still enjoy vacation knowing your funds will be waiting for you upon your return.
You’re now free to enjoy your summer to the max.
*We use the term “transit election” throughout the piece, but everything in this piece also applies to individuals with a parking account or both a transit account and parking account. We didn’t want you to feel like the content is only for people with a transit account. It’s for anyone with a commuter benefit plan. Hopefully that’s you. Otherwise, why are you reading this article?