7/18/13: Legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Grimm, H.R. 2288, the “Commuter Parity Act of 2013,” and in the Senate by Sen. Schumer, S. 1116, the “Commuter Benefits Equity Act of 2013,” that would create permanent parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit.
As you may remember, earlier this year, as part of the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” Congress included NTEU supported language that restored the mass transit portion of the commuter benefit to the same level as the benefit for parking, to $245/month. However, because the increase in the transit portion of the commuter benefit is only temporary, it will revert back to $125/month on January 1, 2014, unless Congress acts.
The mass transit commuter benefit provides much needed relief in the form of reduced commuting costs for many working people, including tens of thousands of federal employees that rely on public transportation to get to and from work. Many of these employees, already subject to a three year pay freeze and unpaid furloughs, are struggling in the current economic climate and a reduction in these benefits would impose a severe financial burden on them.
NTEU believes that creating permanent parity between the transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit will encourage greater transit ridership, which will help lessen congestion on roadways, reduce pollution and conserve energy.