Contra Costa Air Quality

Text START to 925-905-8747 to join the Text-Your-Commute Challenge! You can start the Text-your-Commute challenge anytime through October 16th! For additional information, read through the challenge rewards, eligibility and program rules below. Do you currently drive alone? Are you tired of sitting in traffic? Try out a different commute & get rewarded with the Contra Costa Text-Your-Commute Challenge! The Challenge is a fun and exciting opportunity to explore alternative modes of transportation to get to/from work.... Read the rest
Earth Day is a chance to consider changes we can make to reduce our burden on the planet. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day, try this: pick a day this month and change up your commute and rideshare, walk, bike or take transit to work! Here’s how switching from driving alone to work – even one day a week – benefits both you and the planet: Good for the Environment: According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), taking public transportation is one of the most significant actions a household can take to reduce their carbon emissions.... Read the rest
Click to enlarge image The I-580 Express Lanes through Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore are now open! Here’s what you need to know to use them: All drivers will need a FasTrak® or FasTrak® Flex toll tag and valid FasTrak account to use the lanes. The Express Lanes will be toll-free for carpools, vanpools, eligible clean-air vehicles, buses and motorcycles with a FasTrak Flex toll tag. Solo drivers will have the option of paying to access the Express Lanes using a standard FasTrak or FasTrak Flex toll tag set to ‘1’.... Read the rest
You’ve probably noticed that traffic congestion in the Bay Area is as bad as it’s ever been, starting at 5 o’clock each morning. Congestion isn’t expected to get better anytime soon and is increasing faster than population and employment. So if you’ve been considering making the switch from commuting alone by car, now is the perfect time! Here are 6 great reasons to make this the month you change up your commute: #1: ‘Drive Less’ Commuter Incentive: Make the switch from driving alone to carpooling, taking transit, bicycling or walking for your commute even one day a week and 511 Contra Costa will give you a cash reward as part of the Drive Less Commuter Incentive Program.... Read the rest
Fireworks in Pinole, CA in Contra Costa County Transit riders and vanpoolers who take advantage of pre-tax commuter benefits with their employer will find that their maximum monthly limit decrease to $130 starting January 1, 2014 from $245 in 2013. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8) restored the pre-tax transit and vanpool commuter benefits to be on par with the qualified parking benefit temporarily for the 2013 calendar year. That parity ends December 31, 2013. At this time, the 2014 monthly limits for qualified monthly transportation benefits are: up to $130 per employee per month for public transportation and vanpool up to $250 per employee per month for qualified parking, or up to $380 per employee per month for both public transportation and qualified parking Qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements will remain unchanged at $20 per month in the new year.... Read the rest
BAAQMD The staff of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will conduct public workshops to present, discuss, and receive comments on draft Regulation 14, Rule 1: The Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program. What is the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program? California Senate Bill 1339, signed into law in fall 2012 created the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (Program).  Employers with 50 or more full-time employees in the Bay Area are required to provide commuter benefit options to their employees.... Read the rest
Bike to Work Day at the Mid Market Energizer Station Bike to Work Day 2010 in San Francisco. Photo credit: Bay Area Fair Trade Coalition In an earlier post here at 511 Contra Costa we noted that commuter benefits for vanpooling and public transportation had been restored through the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8) to be on par with the qualified parking benefit For the 2013 calendar year: up to $245 per employee withholding per month for vanpool and all public transportation up to $245 per employee withholding per month for qualified parking, or up to $490 per employee withholding per month for both public transportation and qualified parking This is great news but how does one go about setting aside pre-tax income for a commute benefit?... Read the rest
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR 8) has restored the pre-tax transit and vanpool commuter benefits to be on par with the qualified parking benefit. For the 2013 calendar year: up to $245 per employee per month for vanpool and all public transportation up to $245 per employee per month for qualified parking, or up to $490 per employee per month for both public transportation and qualified parking The effective date for the revised limits above allows for retroactivity back to January 1, 2012 if an employer so chooses under Sec.... Read the rest