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 pretax dollars. Participating in the program can mean a savings of up to 30% on monthly commuting expenses, depending on the cost of your transit travel and your individual tax situation. The monthly tax-free allowable limits are $270 each for transit and 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, 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 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 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. The monthly pretax limit is $270, with an administrative fee of $2.05 a month through a post-tax payroll deduction.
- Annual Transit Card: This is an annual, unlimited ride MetroCard that 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, $127 a month.
- 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 for the Park-n-Ride plan. Cash reimbursement is a parking option (but not a transit option).
- Access-A-Ride/Paratransit: This plan allows employees to receive paratransit service from a transit provider in the tri-state area, including the MTA New York City Transit’s Access-A-Ride. The city will pay the monthly $2.05 administrative fee.