#Commuter Benefits

Employee Benefits: A Guide to Mandatory Commuter Benefits Across the US

May 16, 2023

Do you want to attract and retain top talent while reducing your tax liability as an employer?  We’ve got some exciting news for you about employee benefits! In this article, we’ll explore how offering this benefit in eight different locations across the US can help you save money while improving the quality of life for your employees.

From Philadelphia to Los Angeles, and from Seattle to the Bay Area, let’s dive into the mandatory employee benefits for commuters and see how Edenred can help your business stay compliant while offering convenient and flexible commuting options for your employees. 


There is a new commuter benefits ordinance in place for the City of Philadelphia. If you’ve got 50 or more employees, you need to offer them commuter benefits. That means if they’ve been with you for at least a year and work 30 hours a week, you have to offer something to make their commute easier.

Now, before you start getting anxious, there’s some good news. You don’t have to do this for government employees, unpaid interns, volunteers, or unpaid apprentices. And you’ve got a couple of options for what to offer for your covered employees. You can set up a mass transit plan or give them a fare card that’s worth at least $300, tax-free. 

If you have bike commuters in your ranks, you’re lucky too. You can offer them a tax-free reimbursement of up to $20 a month as employee benefits. Moreover, if you’re feeling generous, you can let them use up to $300 of their pre-tax wages to pay for their SEPTA rides.

Now, we know change can be scary, but think about it this way. This is a win-win situation. Your employees get a little extra to help them out, and you get to show them you care. Nice, isn’t it? 


Now, let’s talk about Seattle. If you have 20 or more employees there, you have to offer commuter benefits to those who work at least 10 hours per week. These benefits can include subsidized transit passes, vanpool fees, and parking.

But, here’s the catch: self-employed folks and contractors are not eligible. However, any W-2 employees can take advantage of these benefits through their employer. And, if you offer pre-tax transit commuter benefits, your employees can receive the amount of their commute from their paycheck before taxes, up to the current IRS limit of $300.

By offering commuter benefits, not only are you reducing your payroll tax liability, but you’re also making your company more attractive to top talent. So, what are you waiting for? 

New York City

Next up is New York City. If you have 20 or more full-time employees, you’re also required to offer commuter benefits. That includes transit passes, vanpool expenses, and parking fees. This law applies to all kinds of businesses, from non-profits to chain stores. By offering commuter benefits, you can reduce your payroll tax liability and attract and keep the best talent around.

Why commuter benefits should be in yours benefits package

Washington, DC

If you’re running a business in Washington, DC with 20 or more employees, you have to offer commuter benefits to those who work at least 20 hours per week. And don’t worry, nonprofit and for-profit companies alike are included. This employee benefit can mean transit passes, vanpool expenses, or even parking fees. And not only will your employees be stoked, but you can also reduce your tax liability in the process. Talk about a win-win!

Los Angeles, Berkeley, & Richmond, CA

The same goes for Los Angeles, where companies with 50 or more employees have to offer commuter benefits. And in Berkeley & Richmond, CA, companies with just 10 or more employees have to pony up those benefits. But, think of it this way – it’s a small price to pay for attracting and retaining the best talent out there.

San Francisco Bay Area

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and have 50 or more employees who work at least an average of 20 hours per week, you know the drill – it’s time to offer commuter benefits. And let us tell you, this can save you a ton of money in taxes while also showing your employees that you care about their well-being. It’s a sweet deal, don’t you agree?

New Jersey 

If you work in New Jersey, you’re lucky! Your employees can use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible transportation expenses, including buses, trains, ferry services, and light rail. This will help reduce their taxable income and keep more money in their pockets.

But it’s not just about following the law…

Investing in your employees well-being is one of the smartest things you can do as a business leader. By offering commuter benefits, you can help your team members save money, reduce their stress levels, and enjoy a better quality of life. Who doesn’t want that?

At Edenred, we’re all about supporting businesses like yours. Our commuter benefits program is just one of the many ways we can help you streamline your benefits administration, reduce costs, and improve your employees’ overall experience. So why wait? Start exploring our program today and see how it can help you achieve your goals. You can schedule an employee benefits consultation with a member of our team by clicking the link below. 

Endered Commuter Benefits Program Overview

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