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Make your commute less taxing with the RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program

April 5, 2024

221107 RTA 1572

As Tax Day approaches on April 15, the RTA is reminding riders about a tax benefit that is good news for both employers and employees: the RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program. This program is a pre-tax benefit that allows employees to pay for transit fare using pre-tax dollars. Participating riders can use their benefits to buy fare for the CTA, Metra, Pace, South Shore, Amtrak, or Chicago Water Taxi across the Chicagoland region.

Offering transit benefits is a win-win for both employees and employers. Employees can save as much as 40 percent when they elect to set aside up to $315 in pre-tax wages each month to purchase transit fare to commute on public transit across the region. Employers can save with an average of 7.65 percent on their payroll taxes and use the RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program as an additional tool to help recruit and retain talent for their company.

The RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program also helps businesses large and small comply with the Transit Benefits Program Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2024. The new law requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees, located within a mile of fixed-route transit service in the six-county RTA region, to offer their employees a pre-tax benefit.

How do I sign up?

The pre-tax transit benefit program is offered by a variety of human resources and payroll firms, such as ADP, and can otherwise be enrolled into by an employer. When an employer enrolls in the program, they can choose whether their administrator will place benefit orders each month or if each employee will manage their own orders. The RTA’s ordering platform can be set up to make employee orders recur each month. This means that if there are no changes to an employee’s benefit package, the order will be placed automatically each month. If an employer doesn't currently offer a transit benefit program, they can learn more and sign up at

A special promo offer is available now. The first three months of fees can be waived if you sign up by June 30, 2024 using the promo code Transit2024.

Why choose transit?

Transit is one of the most effective tools in the fight against climate change and the negative economic, health, and social consequences of traffic congestion. Transit accounts for less than 2 percent of total greenhouse emissions from transportation, while passenger vehicles are responsible for 59 percent of overall transportation greenhouse gas emissions in our region.

Making transit more accessible to commuters through their place of work will ensure that riders have more affordable, reliable, and sustainable methods of traversing the region. RTA is committed to helping employers offer these benefits and encourage more regional ridership, a priority which is outlined in strategic plan Transit is the Answer. The RTA encourages riders whose employers do not yet participate in the Transit Benefit Fare Program to share this information and ask to enroll.

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Tagged in: RTA Transit Benefit Fare Program | CTA | Metra | Pace | RTA

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