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 the city and the tri-state area.
This city benefit enables UFT members to pay for allowable commuting costs with tax-free funds. You can use tax-free funds to travel by many forms of transportation, including train, subway, bus or ferry. Funds are moved to your account before taxes are deducted, reducing your overall tax burden. The monthly tax-free allowable limits are $300 per month for qualified commuter transit and $300 a month for qualified commuter parking.
The program, administered by Edenred, 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, NJ 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 change, suspend or discontinue payroll deductions in the Commuter Benefits Program, you can do so online at the Department of Education’s payroll portal. Remember to keep your current address updated with Edenred; changing your address with the DOE will not automatically update your address with Edenred. For more information, see Updating Your Commuter Benefits Account at the DOE’s HR Connect site.
You can also complete a paper application by downloading it from the Edenred website.
Transit plan choices
- Transit pass plan: This plan allows you to arrange for home delivery of your transit provider passes and tickets through Edenred. There is an extensive list of transit providers in the tri-state area that are part of the plan.
- Annual transit card: This annual, unlimited-ride MetroCard is accepted wherever the MTA 30-day unlimited ride MetroCard is accepted. The annual transit card allows you to take unlimited rides on local buses and the subway throughout the five boroughs. The annual transit card is paid through deductions equal to the cost of the MTA 30-day unlimited ride MetroCard, which is $132 a month.
- NYC commuter prepaid Mastercard: This reloadable prepaid card can be used to pay for transit and parking fees. You will receive one card, which is funded monthly with a specified amount. The NYC commuter prepaid Mastercard is accepted at transit agencies, fare vending machines, designated transit retail centers where transit products are sold and at qualified parking facilities in the New York tri-state area.
- Park-n-Ride: This plan allows you to use pre- 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 enrolled in one of the other commuter benefits plans in order to participate in the Park-n-Ride program. You will incur a post-tax administrative fee of $2.05 a month through payroll deductions for the Park-n-Ride plan. Cash reimbursement is a parking option (but not a transit option) if your parking provider accepts only cash.
- Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service: This plan allows you to use pre- and post-tax payroll deductions to receive paratransit service from a transit provider in the tri-state area, including New York City Transit’s Access-A-Ride. The city will pay the monthly $2.05 administrative fee.