BOSTON, Commuting in your car during rush-hour traffic may just be getting more expensive depending on where you live.
Some cities are looking to congestion pricing to help ease the suffocating traffic in metro areas during prime commuting and business hours.
What is congestion pricing?
Congestion pricing is a system where drivers are charged an extra fee to travel on certain roadways and central business districts during certain hours, generally during peak service.
The pricing system is based on economic theory that by raising prices, it will help reduce demand. Congestion pricing has its roots in Europe, where some cities have implemented a strategy to reduce traffic.
The congestion pricing plan in New York
In the United States, New York City is set to implement congestion fees. Boston and San Francisco are among other metro areas discussing it to varying degrees.
New York’s regulations will place a tax on vehicles entering Manhattan south of 60th street starting in 2021. The actual framework of the rules, including charges, have not been decided.
Despite the limited information released about the plan in NYC, it is expected to have a significant impact on commuters, particularly those who travel from New Jersey. It is anticipated more commuters will turn to public transit to get to and from work.
Commuter Benefits: the alternative for your daily commute
Taking public transportation is an alternative to driving alone. If more people choose to ride public transit, they can save money instead of spending more to get to work with a commuter benefit program.
Commuter benefits allow commuters to set aside funds through this pre-tax program, saving them up to $700 annually. Qualified commuting expenses include subways, buses, ferries, rideshares, among other ways to get to work. The maximum a commuter can set aside for transit pre-tax is $265 per month.
Since employees are saving the money, payroll taxes are reduced for the employer. And the savings ramp up based on each employee who takes advantage of the plan.
Did you know? Offering a commuter benefits program is legally required in a growing number of locations. The following cities or regions have an ordinance in place: Seattle, New York City, Washington, DC, Berkeley and Richmond, San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles and New Jersey coming soon.
To assist employers with setting up a Commuter Benefit program that is compliant and meets federal and state laws, Edenred Commuter Benefits Solutions has developed a free toolkit for cities and regions where a transit ordinance is in place.
For those who live in a major city, congestion pricing appears to be one way leaders are looking to reduce congestion and help out the environment.
A great way to lessen the impact and save money is by signing up or offering commuter benefits.
About Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions
We are the nation’s only comprehensive commuter benefit solutions provider. Our programs combine quality, efficiency and full compliance with IRS regulations. With competitive pricing and a seamless process to sign up and manage the benefit, HR professionals can save money for their companies and employees, and enhance their benefits package to attract and retain top talent.
Visit Edenred Commuter Benefits Blog: https://blog.commuterbenefits.com
Edenred, which invented the Ticket Restaurant® meal voucher and is the world leader in prepaid corporate services, designs and manages solutions for companies and public institutions seeking to provide purchasing power, optimize their expenses and motivate their teams. The Group’s solutions are used across a network of 1.4 million affiliated merchants by 43 million employees working for 750,000 client organizations. The portfolio is built around two main business lines:
Employee benefits (Ticket Restaurant®, Ticket Alimentación, Ticket CESU, Childcare Vouchers, etc.)
Expense management (Ticket Log, Ticket Car, UTA, Ticket Clean Way, Repom, etc.)
Edenred also offers Complementary solutions for managing transactional ecosystems, covering corporate payments (Edenred Corporate Payment), Incentive and rewards (Ticket Compliments, Ticket Kadéos) and Public social programs.
Listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, Edenred operates in 42 countries, with close to 8,000 employees. In 2016, the transaction volume managed by Edenred amounted to almost €20 billion.
Ticket Restaurant® and all other tradenames of Edenred products and services are registered trademarks of Edenred SA.