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
Questions linger after Cuomo’s sudden L train shutdown shift  (Curbed, January 4, 2019)
MTA: L Train tunnel work does not need 18-month closure  (Queens Chronicle, January 3, 2019)
Watchdog sizes up MTA's 'grim' year before proposed fare hike  (New York Post, December 27, 2018)
NYC real estate and architecture experts reflect on 2018’s biggest moments  (Curbed, December 18, 2018)
Riders Call For Fair Fares Instead Of A Fare Hike Ahead Of MTA Public Hearing  (Bklyner, December 11, 2018)
Brooklyn MTA hearing on fare hikes attracts protest  (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 11, 2018)
Inside City Hall  (NY1, December 4, 2018)
A Simple First Step to Help the MTA Re-Establish Credibility  (Gotham Gazette, December 4, 2018)
Subway stations in the city aren't created equal  (amNY, November 29, 2018)
$3 MetroCard swipe in MTA budget talks  (Queens Chronicle, November 21, 2018)
Transit Advocates Launch #deBUSio Campaign, Call on Mayor to Improve Bus Service  (Queens Daily Eagle, November 2, 2018)
Bus advocates say #deBUSio too slow to improve bus rides  (New York Daily News, November 1, 2018)
On the Record: Jaqi Cohen, Straphangers Campaign  (Queens Ledger, October 10, 2018)
Is New York’s Subway System Actually Getting Better?  (Vice, October 3, 2018)
Diverse group of NYC activists press state to pass congestion pricing  (Curbed New York, October 2, 2018)
Fix the subway, already: activist groups  (New York Daily News, October 2, 2018)
23 new subway station managers will oversee safety, cleanliness  (amNY, September 25, 2018)
MTA Touts Progress in Fixing Subway but Victory Still Afar  (Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2018)
NYC subway had rush hour delays nearly every day in August  (Curbed New York, September 17, 2018)
Tour de Flushing Comes to Queens — No Yellow Jersey Required  (Queens Daily Eagle, August 15, 2018)