511 Contra Costa’s employer programs are aimed at increasing the number of employees that rideshare, use transit, bike, or walk to work. We offer employers a variety of free tools to help support their employees’ commute choices.
- On-site Employee Transportation Fairs
- Support for Meeting Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program Requirements
- Federal Commuter Pre-Tax Benefit
- Free Guaranteed Ride Home Program
- Green Commute Encouragement and Incentives
- Commuter Management Software
- Make Your Workplace Bike Friendly
- Work-from-Home Programs
- Free Employer Consultations
- Subscribe to the 511CC Employer Newsletter
511 Contra Costa works with partner transit agencies to host on-site fairs to share commute transportation options with your employees. Employees can learn more about riding BART, local bus routes, carpooling, and tips for biking to work. Contact us to request a free transportation fair at your worksite!
If your office is located in any of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties and you have 50 or more full-time employees, you are required to offer commuter benefits to your employees under the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program. These benefits must include at least one of the following five options:
- Federal commuter pre-tax benefit: Allow employees to pay for their transit or vanpooling with pre-tax dollars
- Employer-provided subsidy: Provide a subsidy to help employees pay for their monthly transit or vanpool costs
- Employer-provided transit: Provide a free or low-cost bus, shuttle or vanpool service to your employees
- Alternative commuter benefit: Create a unique package of commute benefits for employees
- Company-wide telework: Offer employees the option to telework one or more days a week
Federal Commuter Pre-Tax Benefit
Under the Transportation Equity Act, IRS code 132(f), and California state law, employers are allowed to offer payroll tax savings for transportation assistance. Employers also have the option of subsidizing part of their employees’ commuting costs and allowing employees to pay for the remainder with pre-tax dollars.
The IRS has deemed the following monthly amounts allowable for 2021 under tax code IRS 132(f)(2)(A) & 132(f)(2)(B):
|Transit or vanpool = $270||Bicycle = $20|
|Qualified Commuter Parking = $270||Combined Parking & Transit Benefit = $270|
Commuter benefits are considered tax-free benefits, not employee wages. Employees who participate in your commuter benefit program don’t have to pay income taxes on the money they set aside for their commute, saving as much as 40% on their commuting expenses.
Read more about the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program and reach out to 511 Contra Costa at email@example.com if you need help identifying the benefits programs that will work best for your company and employees. For help managing your commuter benefit program a number of companies provide benefit services. See our Provider List.
Free Guaranteed Ride Home Program
Employees who have already converted from a drive-alone commute to transit, biking, walking, or using rideshare can receive reimbursement for a ride home on Uber or Lyft in the event that they have an emergency and can’t get home by their usual means. There’s no cost to you as an employer and nothing to setup. Your employees simply pre-register with 511 Contra Costa to take advantage of our countywide Guaranteed Ride Home Program.
Green Commute Encouragement and Incentives
Want to encourage employees to switch to a greener commute? Promote commute options at your workplace by directing employees to our resources on bicycling, carpooling, vanpooling, and taking public transit.
Electric vehicles are becoming the norm and employees may need a way to charge their cars at work. 511 Contra Costa provides assistance to employers exploring electric vehicle charging options. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help.
Employees who want to leave their cars at home and try a new commute may be eligible for financial incentives from 511 Contra Costa. Learn more about our commuter incentives.
Commuter Management Software
Organizations looking to reduce traffic from single-occupancy vehicles, save money on parking costs, or increase employee wellness might also consider commuter management software. Used by thousands of businesses and organizations, including municipalities, corporations and universities, software platforms like Luum and RideAmigos help employees coordinate their commutes and receive rewards.
Make your Workplace Bike Friendly
Employers and multi-tenant building managers in Contra Costa may be eligible to receive bicycle lockers and racks for use by their employees and the public. If your business qualifies, 511 Contra Costa pays for the racks or lockers and you pay for the installation. To read more about bike rack space requirements and placement constraints, download our Bike Parking Infrastructure Guidelines.
Offering employees choices for how and when they commute to work can be a cost-effective way to meet your business goals. Research shows that work-from-home programs can help companies attract and retain good employees, increase employee productivity, meet environmental sustainability goals, and maintain work continuity in emergencies. 511 Contra Costa can help you get a program started with our Work-from-Home Program Resources.
511 Contra Costa happily assists employers with the resources they need to encourage employees to switch to a greener commute. We offer free consultations on the following topics:
- Pre-tax benefits for commute expenses
- Meeting Green Business Certification transportation goals
- Establishing company-sponsored commuter rewards programs
- Administering employee transportation surveys
- 511 Contra Costa commuter incentive programs
- Bike parking and EV charging consultations