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If you travel to work by public transportation, you can save money by taking part in the City of New York Commuter Benefits Program, which covers New York City and the tri-state area.
This city benefit enables UFT members to pay for allowable commuting costs with pretax dollars. Participating in the program can mean a savings of up to 30 percent on monthly commuting expenses, depending on the cost of your transit travel and your individual tax situation. (You can use the online calculator at WageWorks to determine your savings.)
The program, administered by WageWorks, covers virtually any transit system in the tri-state area. Here’s a partial list:
- New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, New Jersey Transit, PATH and NY Waterway.
- Paratransit and the MTA’s Access-A-Ride program.
- Parking at or near public transit to commute to work, with the Park-n-Ride program.
How to sign up
If you want to enroll or to change, suspend or discontinue payroll deductions in the Commuter Benefits Program, you can do so online at the city Department of Education’s payroll portal.
You also may complete a paper-based application by downloading an enrollment form from the employee area of the DOE website. Send the completed application to: Department of Education Payroll Benefits Unit, 65 Court St., Room 1400, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
You have several choices:
Commuter Card: The WageWorks Commuter Card — No Admin Fee is a set-deduction card equivalent to the cost of the MTA NYC Transit 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard, currently $121, pretax, per month; or a Commuter Card — Unrestricted in which you can select a payroll deduction amount to be loaded to your card that meets your monthly costs. There is an administrative fee of $1.77 per month. Visit WageWorks for more information.
Transit Pass Plan: This plan allows you to arrange for home delivery of your transit provider passes and tickets through WageWorks. You will have access to WageWorks’ secure website to order your passes or tickets from the extensive catalog of transit providers in the tri-state area. (MetroNorth and Long Island Rail Road are not included.) There is an administrative fee of $3.05 a month through payroll deductions.
Premium TransitChek MetroCard (PMC): Employees can receive the Premium TransitChek MetroCard, which allows them to take advantage of unlimited subway and bus rides around New York City 365 days a year. The city will pay the administrative fee for participants in this plan.
Access-A-Ride/Paratransit: This plan allows employees who receive paratransit service from MTA New York City Transit to select Access-A-Ride coupons or other paratransit options through WageWorks. The city will pay the $3.05 a month administrative fee.
Park-n-Ride: This plan allows you to use your pretax and post-tax payroll deductions to pay for parking at or near a public transportation stop or station that you use to get to work. Only transit-related parking is eligible. You must be jointly enrolled in one of the above plans to enroll, and there is a monthly administrative fee of $3.05 through payroll deductions.
Note: The maximum pretax payroll deduction for commuter benefits is $260 monthly.
If you have any questions, visit the WageWorks or call 877-924-3967 from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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