Today’s commuter benefits don’t match commuter preferences. Most DC residents don’t drive to work. Instead, they bike, walk, or take transit. In fact, 18% of DC residents walk or bicycle to work, 37% take transit, and only 34% drive alone.
But when an employer offers a commuter subsidy benefit, it’s often for driving and parking. Even when a subsidy is available for transit or bicycling it is often for much less than the value of the parking benefit. Now there’s a chance to change that!
The 2017 federal tax act makes the flexible commuter benefits bill more important than ever.
Tell DC Council you support the bill that will grant more choice to commuters and incentivize greener and healthier commutes.
Where We Are Now
To help fix our unbalanced commuter incentives, a new bill introduced to DC Council will require employers to let their employees opt for cash or transit benefits in lieu of an employer-provided parking space.
The Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2017, B22-175, was referred to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment. This bill was co-introduced by DC Councilmembers Charles Allen, Mary Cheh, and Brianne Nadeau, and co-sponsored by Chairman Phil Mendelson, and Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Robert White, and David Grosso on March 7, 2017. The last hearing was on September 25th, 2017.
About the bill
Want to know more? Check out fact sheets and FAQs on the bill.
- Policy brief: Affect of the federal tax act on parking cashout
- Our testimony on the Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2017
- Bill: B22-175, the “Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2017
- For DC Residents: Flexible Commuter Benefits bill fact sheet
- For Employers: A better commuter benefit for your employees
- RELEASE: Groups laud flexible commute benefits bill to give employees more sustainable commute options
- FAQ for the “Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2017”
More on commuter benefits
Here are some additional resources to learn more about the campaign for flexible commuter benefits:
- Current pre-tax DC Commuter Benefits law (in effect as of January 2016)
- Subsidizing Congestion – Steven Higashide – Transit Center
- Employer-Based Commuter Benefits Programs – Michael Grant – ICF
- Increasing Access to Commuter Benefits – Marina Budimir – DDOT
- Changing the Commuter Equation – Cheryl Cort – CSG
- Sign the petition to support flexible commuter benefits!
- Does your employer offer commuter benefits? Pre-tax transit benefits? Do you use them? Let us know by taking this short survey.
Stay up to date on all of the recent news surrounding the campaign for flexible commuter benefits in DC.
- Bill Proposes Employers Must Match Parking Benefits for Bike and Transit Riders – Tom Sherwood – NBC4
- Sneaker subsidy? New proposal would give cash to commuters who don’t drive – Martin Di Caro – WAMU
- DC wants employers to pay workers not to drive to work – Luz Lazo – Washington Post
- Let’s stop paying people to drive to work – Susan Balding – GGW
- People in DC love to bike and walk to work, but employee benefits focus on parking – Susan Balding – GGW
Photo credit: Bikeshare/Kevin Kovaleski for DDOT on Flickr. Women on bike/Kevin Kovaleski for DDOT on Flickr. John A Wilson Building/Eric Gililand on Flickr.