More and more Twin Cities businesses large and small are helping employees underwrite the cost of commuting by bus and train. Employees within a company frequently become the catalyst for a company-sponsored transit benefit by asking their employers to examine Metro Transit’s premium business partnership called Metropass.
Metropass is a significantly discounted annual transit pass for employees. More than 140 employers already are enrolled with approximately 23,000 Metropass holders taking more than 600,000 transit rides per month on the region’s buses and trains.
When a company enrolls, Metro Transit charges the employer $69 a month for each initial participant in the annual pass program. If the employee purchased a pass at retail, the cost would be as high as $104 a month. The company typically asks interested employees to pay a portion of the cost, and the employer picks up the rest. There is no requirement for the employer to subsidize the pass. If the employer elects to subsidize, the company qualifies for both a federal tax deduction and state tax credit on the amount of its subsidy. Employers can also offer Metropass on a pre-tax basis, meaning that the employee’s contribution is not subject to federal and state taxes.
The Metropass program provides employers an incentive to reduce their corporate costs by increasing the number of Metropass holders among its workers.
“Metropass is a great, low-cost way for an employer to demonstrate to its employees–and its recruits–that it cares about helping them with commuting costs in the face of high gas prices, stress-filled traffic congestion and the often high cost of employee parking,” said Suzan Forsberg, Metro Transit’s employer outreach coordinator.
Employer Programs Hotline