Commuting laws & HR compliance analysis

Commuting: What you need to know

For a variety of reasons, including the cost of gasoline and parking and increased charges for public transit, employees are viewing commuting subsidies as one of their most desired employer-supported benefits. In addition, companies wanting to demonstrate social responsibility in reducing energy consumption, air pollution, and traffic congestion can point to the positive environmental impact of their commuting programs.
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Absenteeism and productivity. Employees who take public transit or rideshare are less likely to be absent, stressed, or nonproductive as a result of their commute to work or parking problems.
Recruitment and retention. Difficulty or cost involved in traveling to and from work and finding parking can adversely affect recruitment and retention for employees. Furthermore, employers that assist their employees in easing their commute financially and time-wise clearly improve employee morale and loyalty.
Housing and employee pool. Commuting and ridesharing programs allow a company to draw workers from a larger geographic area, including towns where housing costs may be more reasonable.
Tax benefits. The value of employer-sponsored vanpools may be excluded from gross income up to the statutory monthly limit less any other transportation vouchers provided by the employer (IRC Sec. 132(f)(5)(B)).
Gas prices/tolls. While traffic congestion used to be employees' biggest commuting complaint, the majority of workers surveyed now say cost is their greatest concern. Ridesharing automatically lowers costs for fuel, tolls, and parking.
Parking. Some municipalities and employers reserve parking spaces for carpool/vanpool vehicles and offer free or reduced-cost ...

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