Bicycle Commuter Benefit

The Federal Bike Commuter Benefit lets bike commuters receive up to $20 per month as a tax-free employer subsidy for riding to work.

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About the bike benefit:

The Bike Commuter Benefit is available to employees at companies that choose to provide this employer-paid benefit. This means your employer must elect to offer the benefit, unlike other tax-free benefits for transit, parking and van-pools.

How to get the bike benefit at work:

  • Tell your employer you want this benefit and get others to do the same. Your employer needs to opt-in to this program and it’s up to you to convince them to do it! Make sure to mention that employers also save money by participating (about 9.5% of their FICA contribution).
  • If your employer already contracts with a Commuter Benefit Provider, ask the person who coordinates your benefits to request enrollment in the bike benefit program. If your employer manages transit benefits in-house, the bike benefit works like any other employer-paid transit benefits.

How to qualify for bike benefits:

  • Ride your bike for a ‘substantial portion’ of your commute.
  • Accept only the $20 benefit for biking. Note that you cannot accept both the transit and bike benefits in the same month! (The SF Bicycle Coalition is working to change this.)
  • Use the money for a bicycle, bicycle maintenance, repair or storage

Resources

San Francisco Environment has a comprehensive guide to Bike Commuter Benefits, as well as a guide for San Francisco employers on how to comply with the San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance, which includes a bike benefit program.