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Commuter Benefits Program

The Commuter Benefits Program allows faculty and staff who travel to work using public transportation–trains, buses, subways, or van pools–to deduct monthly commuting expenses pretax through payroll deduction. The monthly maximum deduction amount is determined by the IRS annually.

Features

  • Not subject to federal tax
  • Monthly deduction available to pay commuting expenses after deducted from pay.
  • Participants may order transit vouchers or monthly passes, pay for or order parking vouchers, add funds to a transit fare card or Payflex commuter debit card, or manage a Payflex commuter debit card and/or parking reimbursements online.

Rules

  • For 2019, the monthly pretax limit for both parking and transit expenses is $265. 
  • Participants can place orders in excess of the pretax limit, paid through a personal credit card.
  • For parking expenses to qualify under this program, the parking must be located on or near the participant’s work location or a location from which the participant commutes to work, either by mass transit, commercial commuter highway vehicle, qualifying non-commercial commuter highway vehicle, or carpool.
  • An expense for transit passes, such as the cost of purchasing a pass, token, fare card, etc., that entitles the participant to transportation, must be either on mass transportation or provided by a person in the business of transporting passengers for hire and in a vehicle with a seating capacity of at least six adults plus driver.
  • Expenses may also include transportation in a commuter highway vehicle, at the cost of transportation between your residence and place of employment, provided the vehicle has a seating capacity of at least six adults plus driver, and is reasonably expected to be used for at least 80% of the mileage for commuter trips in which the vehicle is at least half full, not including the driver.
  • The use of limos and taxis are not eligible under this program.
  • If the participant’s employment terminates or stops participating in the program, any unclaimed contributions will be forfeited.

Eligibility

All benefits-eligible faculty and staff with the exception of visiting fellows may participate. For postdoctoral research fellows, pretax deductions can only be taken from the wage supplement.

Deadlines & Application Process

  • There is no annual open period; you can sign up and make changes on a monthly basis. To get started, refer to the Quick Reference Guide.
  • Participants must complete their monthly transit and/or parking order(s) by the tenth of each month prior to the benefit month. For example, if a participant needs transit passes for March, the order will have to be placed through Payflex no later than February 10.
  • The incurred costs of our commuting expenses are deducted pretax from a participant’s paycheck the month after the order is placed.
  • To set up an account with Payflex, participants need to provide their Princeton benefits ID number located in HR Self Service under Benefit Details.

Did You Know . . .

Princeton offers financial incentives and other benefits for faculty and staff who use alternative transportation to commute, e.g., biking, walking, riding the train or bus, carpooling, or vanpooling, instead of a University parking permit? Learn more or request your own personalized commute plan by calling (609) 258-1339 or online.

If there are any discrepancies between the information in this publication, verbal representations, and the plan documents, the plan documents always govern. Although Princeton intends to continue these benefits, the University reserves the right to amend or terminate these plans at any time.