Is your company in compliance with the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program?
Bay Area employers with 50 or more full-time employees within the Bay Area Air Quality Management District geographic boundaries are required to register and offer commuter benefits to their employees in order to comply with Air District Regulation 14, Rule 1, also known as the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program.
This measure aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion and encourage employees to commute by adopting alternatives to driving alone. The partners of this program have published a helpful Employer Resource Guide to explain benefit requirements.
Employers must select one of four Commuter Benefit options to offer to their employees. While Commute.org is not the direct administrator of this program, we are happy to help, we are ready to assist in advising and analysis of current employer benefit offerings and recommending options for Bay Area Commuter Benefits compliance options. To comply with the program requirements, an employer must:
- Register at commuterbenefits.511.org and update registration annually.
- Designate a Commuter Benefits Coordinator or Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program representative.
- Select a pre-approved commuter benefits option or propose an alternative.
- Notify employees of the commuter benefits and how they can use the benefits. *The employer must maintain records to document how and when employees were notified about the commuter benefits.
If you have questions, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transit: To encourage commuting on public transit, some employers offer employees free or subsidized transit passes.
Vanpool rewards: Another way employers support their employees using sustainable transportation modes is by subsidizing vanpool seats, paying drivers, and/or providing a vehicle. 511 coordinates vanpools in the Bay Area and offers a variety of free services and rewards to start or join a vanpool. Their vanpool consultants are committed to keeping vanpools full and on the road with empty-seat subsidies. For more information on the 511 Vanpool Program, please click here. For information on Commute.org's Vanpool Incentive Program, please contact email@example.com.
Qualified transportation fringe benefits: The Internal Revenue Code allows employees to use pre-tax dollars toward their transit and vanpool commuting costs. The current limit is $270 per month.
Parking policies: Employers and property managers can reduce parking demand with a range of parking policies: preferred carpool parking, charging a daily rate for parking (rather than distributing monthly/quarterly passes), unbundling parking from office leases (for property managers), and parking cash out programs.
Employee trip planning and ride matching assistance: One-on-one and small group sessions with employees can help them explore their commute options.
Commuter shuttle program: By providing first/last mile shuttles (or joining Commute.org's shuttle program), employers make it easier for their employees to commute by public transit. Shuttles transport employees between public transit stations and offices.
STAR platform for employers: Employers can have their own free, customized network on the Commute.org STAR platform to connect their employees to commute options, offer incentives, and track the organization's drive-alone rate and carbon emissions reductions.
Telework and flexible work schedule options (such as a compressed work week or staggered start/end times) help reduce traffic congestion, parking demand, transportation costs, and employee absenteeism. These options also effectively expand the talent pool for employers by removing geographic barriers. Employees with telework and flex scheduling options enjoy the flexibility and are more productive.
Check out Commute.org's teleworking resources page to learn more.