Commuter Tax Benefits, Incentives & Grant Assistance

Commuter Tax Benefits

vRide is a leading partner with public agencies around the country to provide the safest and most-efficient form of public transportation -- Vanpooling. Commuter tax benefits are available for employees who vanpool. Under Section 132(F) of federal tax code, an employer can offer its commuting employees up to $245 per month through the balance of 2013, for “qualified transit” costs. Commuter vanpooling is recognized by the IRS as a form of “qualified transit” along with bus, rail and ferry services. Employers can offer their employees the option of paying up to $245 per month through the balance 2013, of their “qualified transit” expense 1) as a pre-tax deduction or 2) as a tax-free benefit designed to encourage their employees to commute via transit or vRide vanpools. Most employees of the federal government are eligible for an employer-provided, commute-to-work benefit when they vanpool. Check with your HR representative, or give us a call to learn more about commuter benefits.

In addition, federal transit assistance grants help states and local governments and transit agencies cover their most of their capital expenses and some of their operating costs. In many areas of the country, vRide partners with these public agencies to contractually provide the safest and most-efficient form of public transportation… vRide vanpools! If you’d like to learn more about vRide and these grant programs, give us a call.

Vanpooling has been a part of my life for over the last 12 years. I first started using vanpools in 1994 while as an undergraduate student at UCLA. At that time, I was living in on-campus and going home every weekend to my parents who were located 30 miles east of UCLA. As all Southern Californians know, traffic in Los Angeles is known to be excruciatingly bad on Friday afternoons. The options were to either drive and brave the commute alone, or ride the bus with the hassles of transferring. Thank goodness that vanpooling turned out to be a viable third option. After learning about the financial, environmental and life quality benefits of vanpooling, I immediately signed up, first as a part-time passenger, and eventually transitioned to full-time during my tenure as a Ph.D. student. In 2002, I started working at The Aerospace Corporation. Aerospace and the surrounding defense companies heavily promoted vanpooling, and I immediately took advantage of the commuting option. For two-and-a-half years, I rode and occasionally drove a VPSI van from South Pasadena to El Segundo. One of the best things about this vanpool was the fact that our van was able to take advantage of the HOV lane on both the 105 and 110 freeways, which trimmed off a lot of time in the commute to and from work. In 2004, my wife and I left Southern California and moved to New England. After living in Massachusetts for a year, we purchased a house in Bedford, New Hampshire. However, our jobs were still in Cambridge, Massachusetts, some 60 miles away. We needed to find a cost-effective and intelligent way of getting to work. Again, vanpooling made sense. I contacted VPSI and arranged to start a new van, this time serving as the primary driver. Who knew that all my years in vanpooling would one day prepare me to run my own van!
Jason K. Hui, Ph.D.