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.

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Progressive Pols & Southern Pols Remain At Odds Over Bus Improvements  (Kings County Politics, August 1, 2018)
Transit Advocates Push Mayor on Bus Reforms  (City Limits, August 1, 2018)
Transit advocates unveil new proposal to fix NYC’s bus crisis  (Curbed New York, July 31, 2018)
Frustrated commuters act out 'excruciatingly slow' bus speeds at City Hall  (Metro New York, July 31, 2018)
Advocates call for better bus service citywide  (Bronx News 12, July 31, 2018)
Bus Drivers and Riders Call on Mayor de Blasio to Build 60 More Miles of Bus Lanes  (Streetsblog, July 31, 2018)
NYC Bus Overhaul Needs Boost From De Blasio, Advocates Say  (New York City Patch, July 31, 2018)
Today’s subway meltdown highlights the MTA’s larger communications problem  (Curbed New York, July 30, 2018)
The slowest bus in the city wouldn’t even beat a manatee in a race  (Time Out New York, July 26, 2018)
Straphangers ‘honor’ four Queens bus lines  (Queens Chronicle, July 16, 2018)
Worst bus routes in NYC? M42 the slowest, B12 most unreliable, advocates say  (amNY, July 24, 2018)
We Can’t Tell If the Subway Action Plan Worked, Which Was the MTA’s Whole Idea  (Village Voice, July 24, 2018)
M42 wins 'Pokey' award for slowest city bus  (NY1, July 24, 2018)
You can walk faster than the MTA’s slowest bus  (New York Post, July 24, 2018)
Worst bus lines are in Midtown and central Brooklyn, report finds  (Crain's, July 24, 2018)
42nd St. crosstown bus once again named city's slowest trip  (New York Daily News, July 24, 2018)
Straphangers Campaign names annual Schleppie, Pokey awards for poor bus service  (ABC 7, July 24, 2018)
These NYC Bus Routes Are the Slowest and Least Reliable  (NBC 4 New York, July 24, 2018)
This is the ‘pokiest’ MTA bus in the city, according to transit advocates  (Metro New York, July 24, 2018)