Go831 is a free program from the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) that offers a creative approach to get cars off streets and out of parking lots during the busiest travel times. It’s designed to support employer-based commute programs by providing resources, technology and tools that create valuable benefits to employees while keeping your administrative costs low.
Whether you want to offer an employee commute incentive program to attract and keep the best talent or need to meet government-mandated parking restrictions, Go831 has an immediate positive impact, reducing your company’s contribution to the daily commute and the number of employee parking spaces needed.
Go831 provides all the resources you need to get your program up and running efficiently or improve your existing employee commute program.
- New Hire packets and promotional materials
- Twice-yearly, countywide challenges and incentives
- Smart Commute Club resources and gatherings
- TAMC support and promotion
- Monthly smart commute tips e-newsletter
- Commuter surveys
- Information on tax benefits
- “Emergency Ride Home” program
- Free administrator access to the
Companies and employees throughout Monterey County can participate in Go831. The RideAmigos platform can identify commute alternatives and track driving trip reductions through carpooling or vanpooling, taking the bus, biking, or walking to work.
Easy Steps for Getting Started
The Go831 program was designed with ease of implementation in mind. Your program will be up and running in seven easy steps:
- Join the Smart Commute Club
- Assign a “commute ambassador” at your company
- Participate in a commute ambassador training session
- Distribute Go831 Employee Survey and meet with Go831 to design a Trip Reduction Plan (if starting an employee commute program)
- Promote the program to your employees
- Participate in Smart Commute Club gatherings and Go831 Challenges
- Provide feedback to Go831 staff
When people get on the alternative transportation bandwagon, everybody wins. Studies have shown that smarter commuting leads to increased employee satisfaction and productivity by reducing stress. Communities benefit through reduced pollution and eased traffic congestion. Businesses enjoy boosted employee retention rates and decreased facilities costs. All while making the company more attractive to prospective partners, investors, and employees through its commitment to forward-looking values.
Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit
For 2019, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $265 and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is
$265. See Qualified Transportation Benefits in section 2.
Qualified Transportation Benefits This exclusion applies to the following benefits.
• A ride in a commuter highway vehicle between the employee’s home and work place.
• A transit pass.
• Qualified parking.
You may provide an employee with any one or more of these benefits at the same time. Qualified transportation benefits can be provided directly by you or through a bona fide reimbursement arrangement. A bona fide reimbursement arrangement requires that the employee incur and substantiate expenses for qualified transportation benefits before reimbursement. However, cash reimbursements for transit passes qualify only if a voucher or a similar item that the employee can exchange only for a transit pass isn’t readily available for direct distribution by you to your employee. A voucher is readily available for direct distribution only if an employer can obtain it from a voucher provider that doesn’t impose fare media charges or other restrictions that effectively prevent the employer from obtaining vouchers. See Regulations section 1.132-9(b)(Q&A 16–19) for more information.
The annualized average cost of a parking spot varies considerably, depending on its location. About ten years ago, when researchers first began to analyze parking spot usage patterns in the context of the digital age, annual costs ranged anywhere from about $250 to $2,250 (or more, depending on demand). Today, those costs have gone up sharply.
Carpooling and ridesharing incentive programs have a lengthy track record of success. They generally take one of two main forms:
First, they turn using alternative modes of transit into a game. Participants can take part individually, or align themselves into teams. Every time a participant or team logs a commute using an alternative mode of transportation, they earn points. At the end of the competition, the participant with the most points wins a grand prize. Secondary prizes can also be offered to lower-placing leaders, encouraging wider participation.
Alternately, organizations can offer preferred parking spots to vehicles that are used in rideshare programs. Commuters can be matched based on location and/or similar work schedules, and take turns sharing driving responsibilities. Emphasizing benefits like reduced fuel, insurance, and vehicle maintenance costs is a great way to get people excited about taking part.
The RideAmigos software platform is ideal for a comprehensive range of commuter management applications, helping users make easier and more convenient connections with alternative modes of transportation. The platform is also an indispensable tool for commuter program managers and administrators looking to publicize their initiatives, encourage participation, and track results.
Most employees may receive up to $265/month for purchase of transit vouchers, commuter highway vehicle fares and/or parking fees from his or her employer. This subsidy value will not appear on their W-2 form as income. Qualified Bicycle Commuting Benefit remains ineligible as a tax free benefit.
Employee pays for commute benefit with the pre-tax income up to the $265/month statutory limit and receives more after-tax spendable income.
Employee may combine the pre-tax benefit with employer subsidies up to $265/month for each to pay for transit vouchers, commuter highway vehicle fares and/or parking fees.
The Go831 Advantage
Don’t have an employee commute program yet? Go831 provides employee surveys and trip-reduction planning services to help you design a program that will give you the best return on your investment.
Go831 provides many benefits for your company while reducing traffic and parking impact for your employees and your customers.
- Reduces parking demand
- Improves visitor access to your facility
- Produces employee commuting data that provides actionable insights
- Creates happier, more productive employees
- Showcases your company as a progressive employer
- Connects you with other like-minded companies
- Reduces highway traffic
- Promotes better air quality
If 5-10% of your employees used an alternative to driving alone just one or two days per week or had staggered shift start times, overall traffic in Monterey County would noticeably improve.
EMPLOYER RESOURCES & TOOLS
Find employees that can get to work by means other than driving along (carpool, vanpool, bus, biking or walking)
Stagger employee start times so not everyone needs to travel and park at the same time
Reduce the number of trips to the office by allowing telecommuting
Choose alternative routes (if possible)
RideAmigos software platform provides:
- Online trip matching
- Commute Tracker smartphone app
- Data Reporting
- Incentive programs and challenge administration
For those choosing to carpool or vanpool, your program can be set up to match with any participating commuters or only those within your organization.
Helpful Web Links and Articles
- Monterey Bay Economic Partnership – Transportation Tool Kit
- IRS – Publication 15-B
- Market Watch: Snagging tax-saving transportation benefits
- Commuter Tax Benefits White Paper from the Best Workplaces for Commuters
- Transit and Vanpool Tax Fringe Benefits from the Best Workplaces for Commuters
- Bicycle Commuter Tax Benefit Information from the League of American Bicyclists
- Tax Incentives for Commuters
Ready to Sign Up? Questions? We’re Here to Help!
Contact Ariana Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 831-775-4403.