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
Accessibility for disabled riders a huge problem on the subways, advocates say  (NY1, September 29, 2017)
Informed Archives: The Straphangers Campaign and the NYC Subway System  (The New York Public Library Blog, August 29, 2017)
Transit advocates fume over 'Cuomo Tax' to fund nuke plants  (New York Post, August 26, 2017)
Assembly members call for bus service improvements  (Times-Ledger, August 25, 2017)
Pols to MTA: Don\'t forget the buses  (Queens Chronicle, August 24, 2017)
New York's Oldest Subway Cars, Beautiful Symbols of a Sad Decline  (The New Yorker, August 21, 2017)
Transit Advocates Say NYC's Missing Out on a "Quick Win" With Buses  (Next City, August 17, 2017)
Cuomo considering congestion pricing  (Queens Chronicle, August 17, 2017)
MTA, DOT efforts to improve bus service receive poor marks from advocates  (Curbed New York, August 15, 2017)
Advocacy groups rate MTA, DOT poorly in new quality report  (Bronx News 12, August 14, 2017)
Cuomo Takes Charge And Goes Down Into The Subway To Point At Problems  (Gothamist, August 10, 2017)
Elected officials to ride subways for 24 hours  (Amsterdam News, August 3, 2017)
NYC Lawmakers Embark On 24-Hour Riders Respond Transit Tour  (CBS Channel 2, August 3, 2017)
MTA boss rolls out more than $800M plan to revive degrading subway system that targets faulty signals, bad tracks  (Daily News, July 26, 2017)
MTA releases Joe Lhota's reorganization plan to fix subway  (AM New York, July 25, 2017)
MTA's fix for overcrowded subways - tear out the seats  (New York Post, July 25, 2017)
MTA unveils multibillion-dollar plan to save the subways  (NY 1, July 25, 2017)
$800 Million Subway Rescue Plan Adds Cars and Subtracts Seats  (The New York Times, July 25, 2017)
City releases its own subway turnaround plan ahead of MTA's  (AM New York, July 24, 2017)
MTA subway riders call for end to endless delays and dysfunction  (WABC Channel 7, July 24, 2017)