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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

8/22/2013



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metra campaign aims to educate businesses on transit-use tax benefits


Metra has launched a "major outreach campaign" to encourage Chicago-area businesses to offer transit benefits to help their employees reduce commuter costs.

The effort is targeting small- and medium-size companies in a six-county region around Chicago, with a mix of downtown and select suburban locations, Metra officials said in a press release.

The agency kicked off the campaign with targeted outreach to 1,900 businesses to raise their awareness of transit benefit programs and encourage them to offer the programs to their workforce.

Metra is installing onboard ads aimed at commuters who may be using public transportation regularly but are unaware of the tax benefits of transit benefit programs.

The Internal Revenue Service's approved transit benefit programs are designed to reduce the cost of commuting by allowing employees to set aside up to $245 before taxes per month for transportation costs. In Chicago, the benefits apply to transit options including Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority, Pace and Water Taxi.

Employers can consider a number of pre-tax transit benefit providers, including the Regional Transportation Authority, WageWorks, Benefit Resources, ADP, AON/Hewitt and Wired Commute, Metra officials said.

"While Metra does not offer is own transit benefit program, we are enthused to encourage companies to offer these plans," said Metra Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alex Wiggins.



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