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By: Roxann Galvan, Transit Benefit Program Manager

Everyone’s looking for ways to save money on Tax Day and throughout the year. As we all start to get our W2’s and dig out those old receipts to do our taxes, we wanted to pass along some information about a tax benefit that more and more employers are taking advantage of.

To help encourage public transportation commuting among employees, and to recruit and retain young professionals, many employers in Chicagoland offer transit benefits to their employees. The IRS code allows employees at companies offering transit benefits to have money (up to $255 per month) deducted pre-tax from their paychecks to pay for their transit fares. Through the pre-tax deduction, employees save up to 40% on their commuting costs.

Research shows that young professionals in Chicagoland prefer to live in urban areas and commute to work by public transportation – in fact, more than 62% of those who work in the Loop take transit. Public transportation can save time and money, in addition to the environmental and health benefits. According to the American Public Transportation Association, employees who commute via transit in Chicagoland can save up to $11,415 annually. Additionally, employees who commute via transit get up to three times more physical activity per day than employees who commute by car.

Offering transit benefits creates a win-win for both employees and employers. In addition to helping recruit and retain talent, transit benefits save employers an average of 7.65% of the pre-tax deductions on their payroll taxes. This is money that goes directly to a companies’ bottom line.

The RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program serves more than 1,400 companies throughout the Chicago region. Over 21,000 employees at these companies enjoy the benefit of saving money while commuting with the CTA, Metra, Pace, South Shore, Amtrak, Chicago Water Taxi and many other public transportation providers. Our low-cost program is easy for companies to administer and manage, and provides a one-stop shop for all your employees’ transit needs.

To learn more about transit benefits and the RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program visit or contact us at (312) 913-3230.

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Read posts about how the RTA collaborates with CTA, Metra and Pace to plan, invest in and move the Chicago region’s transit system.

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