Commuter Benefits Program

Learn about and register for the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program.

The Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program is an air quality rule administered by the Air District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Under this regulation, Bay Area employers with 50 or more full-time employees in the Air District’s nine-county jurisdiction are required to provide a commuter benefit option(s) to their employees. Those employers can choose from one or more of the following options:

  • Option 1
    Pre-tax benefit that allows employees to exclude their transit or vanpool cost from taxable income in accordance with section 132(F) of the Internal Revenue Code. See 511.org
  • Option 2
    Employer provided transit subsidy. See 511.org.
  • Option 3
    Employer provided shuttle or van pool. See 511.org
  • Option 4
    Alternative commuter benefit that is as effective in reducing single occupancy vehicle trips. See 511.org
  • Option 5
    Telework policy that allows telework one or more days a week for all employees whose assignments can be performed remotely. See 511.org

Registration

To comply follow these steps:

  1. Designate a commuter benefits coordinator for your organization
  2. Determine the best benefit(s) for your workforce
  3. Register at 511.org
  4. Notify your employees of the benefits being offered to reduce single occupancy driving
  5. Log in and update registration data annually

For more information, visit the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program page on 511.org and refer to the Commuter Benefits Program resources:

Employer Compliance Verification

To confirm that your employer is currently offering commuter benefits, first check with your employer or human resources office. To see the current list of registered employers, visit 511.org.

If your employer is subject to the requirements of the Commuter Benefits Program and is not offering employees commuter benefits, let us know at:  commuterbenefits@baaqmd.gov.

Compliance Advisories 

2021 - Commuter Benefits Option 5 Telework Advisory

2018 – Commuter Benefits Enforcement Action Advisory

2017 – Final Commuter Benefits Financial Penalty Language

2014 – Commuter Benefits Registration Reminder  

2014 – Commuter Benefits, Regulation 14, Rule 1, Field Employee Clarification

Further Resources 

Free Registration Assistance (511.org)

List of Bay Area Commuter Benefit Providers (511.org)

Telework Policy Resources (BAAQMD)

Spare the Air Employer Program (sparetheair.org)

2014 Report to the California legislature (BAAQMD and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission)

Contact Us

Eric Pop
Air Quality Specialist, Compliance & Enforcement

415.749.5172

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Spare the Air Status

Last Updated: 8/9/2019