Tax Free Transit Enroute for More Federal Employees

August 1, 2005 ( - A provision in a transportation bill passed by the US House and Senate prior to their August recess would extend federal employee tax-free transit benefits to the legislative and judicial branches.

According to the Washington Post, currently more than 155,000 federal employees receive Metrocheks or fare card vouchers.   Current tax rules allow for vouchers of up to $105 monthly.   Employees nationwide for the Departments of Energy and Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency already receive this benefit.

US Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland) said, “Guaranteed benefits will give these employees more choice in their commuting options and provide an additional incentive to move off our congested roadways and onto public transit,” according to the Post.

In addition, the bill will allow federal agencies to provide shuttle services between their offices and public transit facilities near the DC area, easing up on the current rule that agencies can not provide shuttle services unless it is for official business.  

Agencies outside the DC area may offer the benefit on a pretax basis, but many have chosen to pay for the benefit for employees to match the DC-area benefit, the Post noted.

More information can be found on the Federal Transit Administration Web site  at .