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Employee Commuter Transit Benefit Ordinance Becomes Law in Philadelphia

Employers classified as a covered employer within the City of Philadelphia must take steps to implement the Employee Commuter Transit Benefit Ordinance which goes into effect on December 31, 2022.

Covered Employers and Covered Employees

A covered employer is defined as an individual, co-partnership, association, corporation or other entity that employs 50 or more covered employees for compensation (excluding government employers). A covered employee is defined as an individual who works at least 30 hours per week for compensation within the geographic boundaries of Philadelphia for the same employer within the previous 12 months.

According to the ordinance, instructional materials are available from the City to provide implementation assistance to covered employers. If employers are not in compliance with the program, employees may report the employer, which may result in penalties or fines if not resolved within 30 days. 

Requirements employers must implement include:

(1). (a) Election of a pre-tax, payroll deduction for Mass Transit Expense, consistent with Internal Revenue Code, at benefit levels at least equal to the maximum amount that may be deducted for such programs; or

(b) An employer-paid benefit whereby the Covered Employer supplies a Fare Instrument for a Covered Employee’s Mass Transit Expense, at benefit levels at least equal to the maximum amount that may be deducted for such programs pursuant to Internal Revenue Code; or

(c) Any combination of programs described above.

(2) Covered Employers shall also offer, as an alternative benefit program for Covered Employees who regularly use a bicycle for commuting to and from work, a tax-free reimbursement of Qualified Bicycle Expenses, up to the amount of $20 per month, or in such amount as the Internal Revenue Code may permit.


As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.

To read the entire ordinance, visit http://phlcouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CM-Gym-4.21-Commuter-Benefits-Ordinance.pdf

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