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
Finish the job! Transit advocates rally in Queens for bus lane completion  (AM New York, October 22, 2020)
Finally, a Subway Map With Real-Time Train Locations and Delays  (The New York Times, October 21, 2020)
DOT Hopes South Bronx Bus Service Will Speed Up With New Dedicated Lanes, Camera Enforcement  (Gothamist, October 11, 2020)
As City Reopens, De Blasio’s ‘Better Buses’ Plan Stuck in Traffic  (Gotham Gazette, September 11, 2020)
Fare hikes, service cuts on horizon for MTA unless federal funding comes through  (Amsterdam News, September 10, 2020)
MTA Will Issue $50 Fines To Riders Who Don't Comply With Mask-Wearing Rules  (Gothamist, September 10, 2020)
Surface Transportation Council Members Break Ranks To Demand COVID Recovery Plan  (Streetsblog, September 2, 2020)
Mayor de Blasio slammed by members of his own transportation advisory panel  (NY Daily News, September 2, 2020)
Community Dialogues: Straphangers Campaign  (WFUV, August 28, 2020)
A Round and a Roundy: The MTA’s ‘Parade of Horribles’  (A Round and a Roundy: The MTA’s ‘Parade of Horribles’ Streetsblog, July 23, 2020)
New York City Is Getting 20 Miles Of Bus Lanes & Car-Free Busways  (Clean Technica, July 2, 2020)
Subway and Bus $65M 'Fair Fares' Reduction Deals Latest Blow to Transit System  (The City, July 1, 2020)
'At the edge of an abyss': Transit advocates plead with Schumer to get MTA financial aid   (Bronx Times, June 30, 2020)
The Budget Pain: Mayor's Fair Fares Cut Falls Heavily on Lower-Income Transit Riders  (Streetsblog, June 30, 2020)
Transit advocates plead with Schumer to get MTA financial aid   (QNS.com, June 29, 2020)
New Yorkers prepare to venture into subways again   (CNBC, June 8, 2020)
De Blasio announces 20 miles of new bus service for coronavirus reopening  (New York Post, June 8, 2020)
Mayor Creates More Busways — And Makes 14th Street Permanently Car-Free  (Streetsblog, June 8, 2020)
With thousands returning to work, New York City and state at stalemate on mass transit plans  (Politico, June 7, 2020)
Everyone to Mayor: We Need 40 Miles of Dedicated Bus Lanes Now  (Streetsblog, May 28, 2020)
Public Statements
Testimony at Joint Legislative Hearing on Impact of COVID-19 on the MTA  (August 25, 2020)
NYPIRG Announces Gene Russianoff Retires  (July 24, 2020)
Statement on Resignation of Andy Byford  (January 23, 2020)
Statement on Changes to Access-A-Ride Pilot Program  (November 12, 2019)
Testimony at MTA 9/25 Board Meeting on Access-A-Ride E-Hail Pilot Program  (September 25, 2019)
Statement on the MTA's Draft 2020-2024 Capital Plan  (September 16, 2019)
Statement on Governor Cuomo's Canarsie Tunnel Rehabilitation Plan  (January 3, 2019)
Congestion Pricing Coalition Statement on Governor's 30-Day Amendments  (February 16, 2018)
Statement on Newly Appointed MTA Chair/CEO Joseph Lhota  (June 22, 2017)
Statement on MTA Management Restructuring Plan  (May 15, 2017)
Statement on Governor's Plan to Cut $65 Million in Promised Funds to the MTA  (February 21, 2017)
Statement on the MTA’s Fare Increase Proposal  (November 16, 2016)
Comment on MTA Five-Year Capital Program Proposal  (July 23, 2015)
Statement on Record Ridership  (April 20, 2015)
Statement on MTA Capital Funding  (March 25, 2015)
Response to MTA's Statement on 2014 Subway Report Card  (July 31, 2014(PDF))
New York City Transit Fare Facts  (July 2014)
Group Statement on Scoping of Proposed Rezoning of the Vanderbilt Avenue Corridor  (July 16, 2014)
Statement on Appointment of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg to MTA Board of Directors  (June 20, 2014)
Statement on Mayor de Blasio's East Midtown Zoning Proposal  (May 30, 2014)