As a result of municipal union negotiations, CUNY is changing providers for its transit benefit and the program has been expanded. The change has been implemented for employees at the community colleges and the Hunter Campus Schools (HCS), and senior college employees have received a letter on their enrollment this Spring.
Now administered by WageWorks and known as the Commuter Benefits Program, the idea of the program remains unchanged. Through payroll deduction, participants can pay for commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars. Depending on your tax bracket, you may save as much as 40%. As before, there is a small monthly administrative fee; this varies with the type of benefit you choose.
The expanded Commuter Benefits Program can now be used with almost any transit system in the tri-state area. You will be able to use it on MTA subways and buses, the Long Island Railroad, NJ Transit, PATH, and NY Waterway, to name just a few, and you can also use it to pay for parking at or near a public transportation stop that you use to commute to work. Participants receive a stored-value card, which works like a credit card, that can be used to purchase transit passes and tickets at transit providers.
Community college and HCS employees who were enrolled in the old transit benefit were automatically transferred to a comparable benefit under the new program (the “Commuter Card/Unrestricted Plan”) at the beginning of December. Those who want to request a change to one of the other options available under the new, expanded benefit may do so.
A full list of participating transit organizations is online. Enrollment forms and details on how the plan will operate at CUNY are both available
on the CUNY website.