Commuter Reimbursement Account (CRA)
A commuter account is an employer-sponsored benefit program that allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for qualified mass transit and parking expenses associated with their commute to work.
How does a Commuter Account work?
There are two types of commuter accounts: mass transit and parking. Employees will have the option to enroll in one or both accounts. Based on their monthly commuting expenses, employees choose a monthly election amount, up to $280 for mass transit expenses and $280 for parking expenses. The money is placed in your account via payroll deduction and then used to pay for eligible commuting expenses.
We offer a Commuter Reimbursement experience that is simple and easy!
We provide easy enrollment options that include online, integrated data files, and more. Employees have 24/7 access to online and mobile app for account information.
Employees use the OCA Debit Card
to pay for commuting expenses,
or vouchers can be used to pay
for transit tickets, passes, or to
pay parking vendors.
On average, participants enjoy a 30% (estimated $1500 per year) tax savings on their annual contribution. Employer’s save on their portion of FICA taxes (typically 7.65%).
uberPOOL, Lyft Line, and Via commuter options
Your employees can now use their OCA commuter benefit and pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible uberPOOL, Lyft Line, and Via rides associated with their daily commute. No longer will they have to be at the mercy of public transit schedules. They simply request a ride via the appropriate app, select their benefit debit card as their payment method, and start saving.Learn More
Commuter Reimbursement Account FAQs
Eligible Transit Expenses
Qualified expenses include transit passes, tokens, fare cards, vouchers, or similar items entitling you to ride a mass transit vehicle to or from work. The mass transit vehicle may be publicly or privately operated and includes bus, rail, or ferry.
Eligible Parking Expenses
Get reimbursed for parking expenses incurred at or near your work location or a location from which you continue your commute to work by carpool, vanpool or mass transit. Out-of-pocket parking fees for parking meters, garages and lots qualify. Parking at or near your home is not an eligible expense.
New Jersey Commuter Requirements
New Jersey employers with 20 or more employees are now required to offer pre-tax transportation, or fringe, benefit accounts to all their employees.
The law became operative on March 1, 2020, or once the regulations are adopted, whichever comes first. If you don’t have a plan in place by March 1st you are potentially subject to fines. The benefit must be offered to all employees, and an employee is defined, under the state’s unemployment insurance code, as someone hired by the employer to report to their work location. Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement are excluded.
According to industry association, SHRM, New Jersey employers should be thinking about the steps they need to take to provide this benefit. Areas for consideration include the specific features of the benefit program, developing communications to their employees, and coordinating the administration of requirements in other jurisdictions.
Civil penalties are issued by the commissioner of the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL). First violations range between $100 and $250. Upon violation, the employer has 90 days before the penalty is imposed. After the 90-day period, every 30 days a subsequent violation will result in another $250 civil penalty.
NYC Commuter Requirements
NYC’s Commuter Benefits Law took effect on January 1, 2016. Under the law, for-profit and nonprofit employers with 20 or more full-time non-union employees in New York City must offer their full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax income to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits. The law is based on the Internal Revenue Code that authorizes pre-tax commuter programs, which benefit employers and employees.
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) enforces the law and coordinates the City’s public education and outreach campaign to help employers and employees know their responsibilities and rights when it comes to commuter benefits.
(Click here to learn more by going to NYC website – https://www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/about/commuter-benefits-FAQs.page)
San Francisco Commuter Requirements
A commuter benefit program is required if the business has 20 or more employees nationwide with a location in San Francisco, and has a San Francisco business registration certificate. Non-profits operating in San Francisco are also subject to the Ordinance. Please refer to the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector for more information on the business registration certificate. If your business has 50 or more employees at all locations across the Bay Area combined, it falls under the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program.