How to Lower Your Fare

Tips and links on tax-free transit benefits

Metro Card

Step One: Get With the TransitChek Program

You can lower your transit costs a lot. And you'll never have to wait on line in the subways again.

How? By getting your employer to join any one of several tax-free transit fare programs. Here's how tax-free transit fare benefits work:

You can have up to $255 a month of your salary exempt from all income taxes - as long as the money is used to pay for the cost of getting to work by transit. You don't need to do anything fancy, like itemize your taxes. The money will be automatically set aside and not reported as taxable income on your W-2 form.

The bottom line: You pay less in taxes. This can cut hundreds of dollars a year on your subway, bus or commuter rail costs. Your boss saves as well, because the company gets a similar break on employer taxes.

It’s really convenient. Many employees get their TransitChek MetroCards with their regular paychecks - some even get their MetroCards mailed to them to them.

Step Two: Get More Info

Several companies offer tax-free transit fare benefits. The MTA has compiled a list of providers. You can also learn more about NYC's new commuter benefits law.

Step Three: Talk to Your Employer

There are lots of good reasons your employer or company would want to provide tax-free transit benefits.

For another way to save time and money, find out how to buy MetroCards online and find out which merchants sell them.

In the News
Face Masks and Crowd Control: The Race to Make Your Subway Ride Safer  (New York Times, May 3, 2020)
Transit Watchdogs: Raiding MTA Taxes Will Threaten A Federal Bailout  (Streetsblog, April 30, 2020)
Advocates: MTA Must Redistribute Service To Protect Low-Income, Essential Workers  (Streetsblog, April 8, 2020)
Commuters bemoan Spuyten Duyvil accessibility  (The Riverdale Press, April 5, 2020)
MTA Leads Multiple Agencies in Demanding $25B from Congress  (Streetsblog, March 23, 2020)
MTA in Free Fall: Low Ridership Numbers Could Mean Massive Debt, Cuts  (Streetsblog, March 18, 2020)
M.T.A., Citing Huge Drop in Riders, Seeks $4 Billion Virus Bailout  (New York Times, March 17, 2020)
The NYC Subways' New Tap-To-Pay System Has A Hidden Cost - Rider Data  (The Verge, March 16, 2020)
Comptroller: MTA Debt Could Mean Fare Hikes, Service Cuts  (StreetsBlog, March 12, 2020)
MTA's Andy Byford Leaving Role That May Be Derailed  (The City, February 21, 2020)
Back to the '80s? Graffiti alarms some   (Queens Chronicle, February 20, 2020)
De Blasio's latest MTA pick gets around with a city-funded chauffeur  (New York Post, February 14, 2020)
Byford leaving transit job as head of New York City's subways and buses  (Newsday, January 24, 2020)
BYFORD'S DEPARTURE THREATENS BROOKLYN BUS REDESIGN: ADVOCATES  (Brooklyn Paper, January 24, 2020)
Why Andy Byford's Departure Is So Distressing For NYC Subway & Bus Riders  (Gothamist, January 24, 2020)
NYC Transit Boss Andy Byford Resigns  (NBC4 New York, January 23, 2020)
New York City Transit boss Andy Byford quits after two years on the job  (QNS.com, January 23, 2020)
Andy Byford resigns as NYCT president  (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 23, 2020)
Plan for more cops squeezes subways for cash  (Riverdale Press, January 12, 2020)
'Master Builder' Cuomo Pitches Old Proposal For New 'Penn Station South'  (Streetsblog, January 7, 2020)