#Commuter Benefits

Why offering commuter benefits is a no-brainer

March 28, 2023

Around 40,000 people die in car crashes each year, and an astounding 4.8 million are seriously injured.

There is an obvious way to lower these shocking numbers: We need to build out public transportation infrastructure and ensure that it’s accessible and vast; and we need to encourage people to use existing systems over driving their personal vehicles. Less cars on the street reduces exposure to crashes and less cars means overall casualties should be less.

Driving your car is 30 times riskier than taking the subway or train, and 66 times riskier than taking the bus.

But when it comes to policy, the “lifesaving” aspect of building out public transportation infrastructure is woefully overlooked, and instead concentrates solely on climate related aspects.

There’s nothing wrong with looking out for Mother Earth, but it would be awesome if we concentrated on the immediate benefits of lowering our own mortality rates by providing cheaper and safer modes of public transportation.

Employers can help save lives by offering commuter benefits

Less driving is clearly correlated with lower fatalities. Removing cars and trucks greatly reduces fatalities.

It may seem simplistic, but it’s powerful. If you’d like to have a hand in decreasing traffic deaths, incentivize your employees to take advantage of existing modes of public transportation.

Not only will this decrease the likelihood of fender-benders, expensive repairs, missed work, and fatalities – it’ll save both parties money on taxes.

Here’s how it works

It is incredibly easy to start a program like commuter benefits.

With the creation of a simple policy, and a shift in the payroll department, you can allow your employees to set aside up to $300 of their paycheck every month to be spent on taking public transportation (all kinds!) to and from work.

Keep in mind, these are pre-tax dollars. That’s where the monetary benefit comes in. Not only will your employees save money on their taxes come year end, so will you.

Pre-tax means no-tax

Because the money set aside is “pre-tax”, your employees can save up to $700 a year. Not only will they increase their safety by taking public transportation, but they will save on car repairs, and have extra money freed up to pay for other life expenses.

And you, the employer, save big as well. Up to $40 per month, per employee! If you have a team of 50, you could be looking at $24,000 in savings every year. A team of 200 people? You could save up to $96,000.

Big city, big safety

If you live in a city with excellent transportation options, it will be even easier to incentivize your employees to opt into your commuter benefits program.

If you live in New York City, Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Madison, WI, Denver, Pittsburg, or Portland, it’s a no-brainer. These cities are rated as having the best public transportation in the U.S.

Not sure what public transportation options are available to you? The American Public Transport Association has a full list of state-by-state options for you to explore.

Edenred is on your side

We make it easy for employers like you to create and manage a commuter benefits program – we even help you support micromobility options like bikeshare, scooters, and mopeds.

We do this by offering your employees a prepaid debit card that can be used to pay for any form of allowed public transportation. And Edenred will manage it all for you through our easy-to-use online portal and app.

You and your employees also have access to a dedicated support team who have specific knowledge and expertise in commuter benefits and employee commutes. So, you’ll never be in the dark.

We’re happy to help you offer your employees a safer way to get to work. Schedule a meeting with us today so we can explore all the options you and your employees would want to have in a commuter benefits program.

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