Employee Commute Information

Carpool parking

Are you a Cambridge business owner who has limited parking? Do you want to make it easy for employees and patrons to leave their cars at home?

The City of Cambridge is pleased to offer you FREE information for your employees’ commute or your patrons’ travel options. You can post these materials in common areas or distribute to new hires.

Order your free materials now!

Pre-Tax Transit Fringe Benefit

Federal tax law allows for public transit and vanpool fares to be treated as a pre-tax deduction for most businesses' employees. A deduction of up to $125 is allowed each month. This also reduces the employer's taxable payroll. The pre-tax limit can be applied to the employee's cost, the employer's cost (in the case of subsidies), or to any combination of the employer subsidy and employee share, up to $125 per month.

Two ways to implement the pre-tax program: 

  • Employers can purchase transit passes through the MBTA Corporate Pass program, and charge the employee share through a pre-tax payroll deduction. Click here for details.
  • Employers can purchase vouchers through third party administrators (such as Commuter Check or WageWorks). Employees can use the vouchers to buy passes, tokens, commuter rail tickets, or pay for vanpool fares. The cost of the voucher can be taken as a pre-tax deduction. If you already have a third party administrator for your employee benefits, they might have a similar voucher program.

Vouchers offer employees flexibility because they don’t have to purchase a full monthly pass. Encouraging people to use transit just a few times per week can make a difference in reducing congestion and pollution. Some pre-tax voucher programs also apply to vanpools.

The MBTA’s corporate pass sales program offers convenience, because employees receive their passes at work and they don’t need to remember to buy them each month. For employees who use a bus/subway Link Pass, Charlie Cards are automatically updated each month.

Pre-Tax Bicycle Fringe Benefit

A subsidy of up to $20 per month is allowable for some expenses related to bicycle commuting. Commuter Check offers a voucher program to streamline the administration of this program, or employers can administer the benefit internally through receipts reimbursement. Commuters are not allowed to take advantage of both the transit/vanpool and the bicycle provisions of the tax code. However, the transit benefit and the parking benefit can be combined.

Click here for a publication on the federal tax law

A simplified chart can be found here.

Charles River Transportation Management Association

The CRTMA is an association of Cambridge businesses that combines resources to provide transportation services. 

  • Emergency Ride Home is a program that gives a ride to commuters who choose not to drive alone to work/school in case of an emergency or unscheduled mandatory overtime. An ERH cab voucher can be used to travel in an emergency to a home, a hospital, a child’s school or daycare, or other site. 
  • The EZRide Shuttle connects Cambridgeport, MIT Northwest Campus, Kendall Square, Lechmere Station, and North Station in Boston

There are annual membership dues for the CRTMA and optional dues for the EZRide Shuttle membership (which allows members’ employees to ride free).

Click here for more information on the CRTMA. 

MBTA

The MBTA’s trip planner allows you to enter an origin and destination, and time of travel, then provides route options for making that trip. Alternatively all MBTA data is integrated into Google Maps and can be accessed via the “Get directions to” option.

Find out when then next bus is coming!

Click here for more information about the MBTA.

MassRIDES

MassRIDES can help commuters form a carpool or vanpool, and can assist larger groups in organizing a commuter information fair.

Hubway

Hubway, the public regional bike share system, has stations in Cambridge, Boston, Brookline, and Somerville. Hubway's Corporate Accounts options help to solve your company's transit concerns - proving you with the ability to encourage active transportation - while strengthening your commitment to green initiatives.

  • Implementation - Hubway is simple for businesses to implement. Each employee manages their own account, with monthly reports sent to the account administrator.
  • Promotion and Education - Hubway will also help you promote the new benefit internally, and can make visits to your site to educate employees about bike sharing.
  • Invoicing and Reporting - Each month, Hubway will send you a monthly invoice for those employees that signed up during the previous 30 days. The monthly invoice also contains statistics on how your employees are utilizing their memberships.

Click here for more information on how you can become a Corporate Member.

Bike Parking is Great for Business

To request that a bicycle rack be placed on public property, please email bikerack@cambridgema.gov.

Get Involved

The following non-profit organizations focus on sustainable transportation in and around Cambridge and can provide a wealth of information as you plan your Transportation Demand Management program. They host a series of regular outreach events, programming, and speaker series that will enable you to offer even more options to your employees.

Free Downloads

For More Information

For more information, please contact Stephanie Groll at 617/349-4673 or sgroll@cambridgema.gov.