There are a number of commuter benefit ordinances that exist throughout the country. Please check with your local authorities regarding any local ordinances that may affect your benefit offerings. Here is a brief summary of the major metropolitan areas that have ordinances in place or becoming effective soon.
New York City
Effective January 1, 2016, every employer with 20 or more full-time employees working in the City of New York (including the 5 boroughs) will be required to offer a qualified pre-tax transportation benefit.
Effective January 1, 2016, every covered employer with 20 or more employees must provide one of: (1) Pre-tax election transportation benefits, (2) employer-paid transportation benefit or (3) employer-provided transportation at no cost. Learn More
Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program
As of September 30, 2014, employers with 50 or more employees across the nine county San Francisco Bay Area are required to offer one of four programs designed to reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road, including the option to offer a pre-tax transit program. Learn More
San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance
Adopted in 2009, businesses with a location in the City of San Francisco with 20 or more employees nationwide are required to offer one of the following: (1) Pre-tax election transportation benefits, (2) employer-paid transportation benefit or (3) employer-provided transportation at no cost. Learn More
Seattle Transit Ordinance
Effective January 2, 2021, every business in Seattle with at least 20 employees worldwide must offer the benefit to any employee working at least 10 hours a week. The ordinance does not apply to government entities and tax-exempt organizations. Covered employers can comply with the ordinance by doing one of the following: (1) Allowing employees to make a pre-tax deduction for transit or vanpool expenses, up to the full amount allowed by federal law; or, (2) Subsidizing all or part of the purchase price of a transit pass.
New Jersey Statewide Ordinance
The anticipated effective date as of March 2019 was March 1, 2020, but that is subject to change. Every employer in the State of New Jersey that employs at least 20 people must offer all employees the opportunity to utilize a pre-tax transportation fringe benefit. An employee is identified as anyone hired or employed by the employer and who reports to the employer’s work location. This mirrors the definition used in unemployment compensation law. There are exceptions and special timing considerations for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement and those employed by the Federal Government.