Workplace Commuting Assistance Popular in High Gas Price Era

September 28, 2005 ( - Human Resources outsourcer Ceridian said Wednesday that it is noticing more worker enrollment in workplace commuter assistance programs because of continuing skyrocketing gasoline prices.

In a news release, Ceridian said administration of the pre-tax deduction program can be carried out with its Commuter Administration Services. Expenses incurred for mass transportation are managed by providing employees the ability to order vouchers or fare media from local transportation authorities with pre-tax dollars.

The announcement said Ceridian supplies documentation, employee education and enrollment, personalized assistance, claims administration and management of fare media.

The pre-tax dollars are exempt from federal income taxes, Social Security taxes and, in most cases, state income taxes. According to the news release, depending on the employee’s tax bracket, they can save up to 38% in taxes on the elected amount. In turn, employers do not pay FICA tax on the money their employees set aside.

Mass transportation vouchers and fare media are mailed to participating employees each month. Parking expenses are reimbursed on a monthly basis. Vanpooling with six or more passengers, excluding the driver, is another expense that is eligible for a reimbursement through Ceridian’s Commuter Administration Services.  

“High gas prices may cause workers to reexamine family budgets and eschew their solo drive to work, instead vanpooling or traveling to and from work on buses, trains and subways,” said Jim Corcoran, senior vice president for Ceridian Employee Benefit Services. “Organizations that offer commuter assistance programs provide a valuable incentive for candidates who are reluctant to take a job in the city because it’s too hard to get to work. These organizations find that a comprehensive program is a great add-on to existing employee benefits, helping them attract and retain the kind of employees that keep their organization competitive.”