Streams

Pushing for Pre-Tax Transit for More People

Sunday, July 27, 2014 - 05:25 PM

WNYC

Supporters of a bill that would require businesses with more than 20 employees to offer workers pre-taxed transit benefits petitioned straphangers at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal on Sunday.

Andrew Carr with the group Riders Alliance said he hoped the signatures would help keep pressure on the City Council to pass the legislation that could save riders about $400 a year, has already been approved in cities such as San Francisco. “If they're able to do it, we're New York City and I think we can do it even better,” said Carr.

At a hearing on the proposal in June, some small business owners without human resource departments expressed concern about the costs of setting up such a program. Others wondered what penalties the city might impose for non-compliance. The plan would allow 600,000 people who currently don’t receive the cost saving benefits to apply. Bronx resident Joseph Fitzroy said he added his name to the petition because he can't even afford a monthly subway pass.

"I use the subway like four times a week and it's really becoming a hardship," he said. "MetroCard, after MetroCard, after MetroCard... it's hard."

The legislation is sponsored by City Councilman Daniel Garodnick of Manhattan.

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Comments [2]

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

I am a 22-year old Riders Alliance volunteer who is involving with this issue of major transit issues such as pre-tax transit benefits. When this bill passes through the New York City Council, the economic output will be huge, and there will be a major direct relationship there. From over 605,000+ New Yorkers who are taking advantage of this, to employers and small businesses, to New York City itself, (where all of them are saving money for other necessities), to the MTA (where there will be more fare revenue by a sudden increase in ridership). So, its a win-win-win-win fro all. Honestly, as a fan of your intelligent comments Tal Barzllai, be mindful that this City Council bill is similar to the law in San Francisco, and it only applies to the New York City workers who lived in New York City AND who are taking a New York City Subway and/or a New York City Bus while using a MetroCard. In addition, with all due respect, it doesn't apply to motorists like yourself because there is a Federal Law where there is pre-tax benefits for drivers, as long as they park. As an old saying goes: "Every Cent Comes in a Long Way." Any rebuttals that you made, I am all ears.

Best Regards:
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

Jul. 31 2014 04:40 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

If this is to be made more affordable, then how will the MTA ever have the money to help improve and expand mass transit? That's one thing Riders Alliance didn't think about. Then again, they will probably make us motorists foot the bill by making the existing tolls higher than ever as well as using road pricing to create even more of that. If you asked me, that's even more of a regressive movement, because it hurts those that live in areas where there is almost no alternatives to driving making it add insult to injury.

Jul. 31 2014 02:31 PM

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