Tuesday, May 24, 2022

As employees throughout the Bay Area make plans to return to the workplace, the Air District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission encourage businesses to review their Commuter Benefits Program registration and update it with new commute options. In the Bay Area, companies with 50 or more full-time employees are required to register for, provide, and promote commuter benefits to their workforce.

Spare the Air Status

Employers can review their commuter benefits registration and update their company’s commute offerings if changes have been made, such as including remote work, carpooling, or other commute options.

Employers subject to the Commuter Benefits Program are required to offer one of the following options:

  • Pre-tax benefit: Allows employees to exclude transit or vanpool expenses from their taxable income
  • Employer subsidy: Provides a subsidy to reduce or cover monthly transit or vanpool costs
  • Employer-provided transit: Provides a free or low-cost transit service for employees, such as a bus, shuttle, or vanpool service
  • Alternative benefit: Provides a commuter benefit that is as effective in reducing single-occupancy vehicle trips as one of the three options above
  • Remote work: A company-wide policy allowing remote work one or more days a week for employees whose work can be performed remotely

Transportation is the largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gases in the Bay Area. Taking public transit, carpooling, biking, walking, and remote work are sustainable choices Bay Area employers can actively promote to their workforce.

The Air District’s Flex Your Commute program provides messaging and links to information to drive employees toward sustainable commuting. Studies have shown employees are more willing to make commute changes when actively encouraged by their employers. Together, the Commuter Benefits Program and the Flex Your Commute Program encourage sustainable, stress-free commute choices as the Bay Area transitions back to the workplace. More information is available at

View press releaseLanguage Icon Globe.

Last Updated: 5/24/2022