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The Commuter Choice Program is a voluntary employee benefit program, which facilitates the pre-tax payment of eligible parking and transit expenses for program participants, who pay to park their vehicle while at work or who use public transportation or van pools. The program allows eligible state employees to save money by paying for these expenses using pre-tax dollars, as allowed by Internal Revenue Code 132, which provides for Qualified Transportation Benefit Programs. No federal, state, or school district income taxes, or Medicare tax will be withheld from the pre-tax amount of participants’ eligible commuting expenses, so you will save money each month you participate in the program.

About the Commuter Choice Program

How the Program Works

The Commuter Choice Program includes two types of commuting expenses:

  • Transportation expenses, which include qualified fares for riding buses, trains, subways, ferries and other types of mass transportation, or van pools. 
  • Parking expenses which include the cost of parking at or near your place of work or at or near a place from which you commute to work by mass transit, such as a park-and-ride lot. 

When you enroll in Commuter Choice for eligible transportation expenses, you are authorizing the third-party administrator, WageWorks, to purchase your public transportation fare passes (i.e. bus pass) and van pool passes, directly from your transportation provider.

The 2017 IRS monthly allowable dollar limit for transit is $255. When you enroll for the Commuter Choice transit benefit, the fare pass will be delivered directly to your home address.

The 2017 IRS monthly allowable dollar limit for parking is $255. When you enroll for the Commuter Choice parking benefit, WageWorks will pay your parking service directly.

Should your parking and/or transit expenses exceed the IRS monthly allowable dollar limit, you may have additional dollars withheld on an after-tax basis to pay your expenses that exceed the IRS dollar limit.

WageWorks

The WageWorks website provides more information about the Commuter Choice Parking and Transit Program. Existing program participants also access the site to make changes in their current benefits and utilize other website resources. Eligible employees who wish to start participating in the Commuter Choice Program may do so by accessing the WageWorks website at wageworks.com.

If you are a first time user, use the last four digits of your state id number when registering.

Customer Service
Visit the WageWorks website at www.WageWorks.com or contact WageWorks Customer Service at 855-428-0446. Representatives are knowledgeable about enrollment, elections, eligibility, ordering, cut off dates and IRS regulations. Customer Service Representatives are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Eligibility

All permanent full-time and part-time State of Ohio employees are eligible for participation in the Commuter Choice Parking and Transit program.

Eligible Expenses

The majority of costs you incur from your residence to work or from work to your residence, for public transportation (i.e. mass transit) or van pools and for parking are considered eligible commuting expenses under IRS regulations. Commuting expenses must represent your normal commute between your residence and your work location.

Administrative Fees

The monthly administrative fee for parking and transit is $3.95 on an “after-tax” basis and is paid for by the employee.

Payroll Deduction Dates

Payroll Deduction Dates for Commuter Choice Program Participants

Payroll deductions will be taken the second paycheck following the fifth day of each month for employees paid bi-weekly. For those paid monthly, the deduction is taken on the first paycheck following the fifth day of the month. 

Benefit Month   Payroll Date of Deduction   
 January 2017  12/23/2016  
 February   1/20/2017  
 March   2/17/2017  
 April  3/17/2017  
 May  4/14/2017  
 June  5/26/2017  
 July  6/23/2016  
 August  7/21/2017  
 September  8/18/2017  
 October  9/15/2017  
 November  10/27/2017  
 December   11/24/2017  
 January 2018

 12/22/2017

 

Termination of Participation or Employment

Employees who stop participating, retire or terminate employment and have a balance in their account, have 90 days from the date of termination to use the funds to pay for eligible commuter expenses. Any unused funds will be forfeited.

Credits cannot be reimbursed to participants. These are pre-tax deductions and can only be used to pay for eligible commuter expenses. They cannot be reimbursed to participants per the IRS Code Section 1.132-9(b) Q/A 14(d).

General Contact

Department of Administrative Services
30 East Broad Street, 27th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
614-466-8857 Local
800-409-1205 Toll Free

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