As the costs of gas and parking keep rising, you can soften the impact of commuting on your employees – and your company – by establishing a trip reduction program that encourages them to use commute options like biking, ridesharing (carpooling or vanpooling), telework, using transit, participating in a variable work hours program and/or walking to get to work.
As a business you can receive tax deductions and credits, reduce your parking costs, keep in compliance with Employer Commute Options (ECO) rules and help reduce traffic congestion. Trip reduction programs are easy to implement and have the added benefit of showing your concern about the environment. Programs can include incentives, employer-paid subsidies, and helping your employees find commute options.
Learn how much traffic congestion costs businesses in the Portland metro area.
There are many ways to benefit:
Pre-tax transportation fringe benefit for employees. Each month a fixed amount can be deducted automatically from an employee's paycheck for transit or vanpool costs before taxes; reducing income tax and FICA contributions. The federal government currently allows $130 to be deducted each month for transit or vanpool expenses. Learn more.
Tax breaks for businesses.
Reducing employees' taxable earnings via pre-tax transit deductions reduces FICA and unemployment taxes you pay on employees' incomes. In addition, you may be able to claim your share of employee transit or vanpooling costs as an allowable business expense on your taxes. Learn more.
Is your company subject to Employee Commute Options (ECO) rules?
If you are located in the Portland area and your work site has more than 100 employees, you may be subject to the Employee Commute Options (ECO) rules. Learn more.
- Steps for creating a successful trip reduction program
- Information on travel options like telework and variable work hours programs
- Incentives for employees and employers
- And more...
For help creating a trip reduction program or enhancing an existing one, visit our partners in your area:
- Metro Regional Travel Options (serves Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties): Metro's Regional Travel Options program promotes and supports the transportation choices available in the region to reduce the number of drive alone trips. Metro can help you develop a transportation program that meets your needs. Metro's services also include:
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (serves the state of Oregon): The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality provides guidance to businesses on Employee Commute Options (ECO) rules compliance, interpretation and enforcement issues.
- TriMet (serves portions of Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties)TriMet provides the regions bus and rail transit service. Its service extends from Troutdale to Forest Grove east to west, and from Sauvie Island to Oregon City and Estacada north to south. TriMet offers three transit pass programs for employers.
Clackamas Regional Center TMA (serves Clackamas Regional Center business area) - The Clackamas Regional Center TMA promotes the use of alternative forms of transportation, reducing congestion, and improving internal mobility thereby providing reasonable and safe access for all to the Clackamas Regional Center business area.
- C-TRAN (serves SW Washington) - C-TRAN provides general transit and vanpool services in Clark County, including vanpools that travel from SW Washington into the Oregon. C-TRAN also offers an employer program that includes a convenient sticker employees can place on the front of their company ID badge transforming it into a handy annual transit pass.
- Clark County Smart Commuter/Commute Trip Reduction (serves employers located in or who have employees commuting from southwest Washington) - Clark County Commute Trip Reduction office works with local businesses to develop trip reduction outreach programs for employees.
- Destination Downtown (serves downtown Vancouver) - Destination Downtown is a partnership of downtown businesses, C-TRAN, the Vancouver Downtown Association, and the City of Vancouver to promote economic development by providing businesses and employees in downtown Vancouver transportation programs and services.
- Lloyd District TMA (serves Northeast Portland Lloyd District) - The Lloyd District TMA provides businesses with effective transportation programs and services with clear member benefits (such as, Universal Pass and Carpool program), a forum for businesses and neighborhood associations to work together, coordination of effective committees working directly on Lloyd District transportation issues, assistance with ECO Rule compliance, and advocacy at the local, regional and state level on behalf of Lloyd District businesses.
- Portland SmartTrips (serves the city of Portland) - Portland SmartTrips Business can provide walking, biking, transit and carpool resources for you and your employees.
- Swan Island TMA (serves the North/Northeast Portland area) - The Swan Island TMA works to bring better transit service, increased pedestrian and bicycle access and expanded rideshare opportunities to Swan Island employees. The TMA promotes the use of these transportation options with employers and their employees.
- Westside Transportation Alliance (serves Washington County) - The Westside Transportation Alliance is a non-profit organization of businesses and public agencies promoting transportation options to ease congestion, support economic development, conserve resources and provide equitable transportation for everyone.
- South Metro Area Regional Transit (serves the Wilsonville area) - South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART) offers a variety of services to meet the transportation needs of the Wilsonville area. These include bus connections to Portland, Salem, Canby and bus service throughout Wilsonville. SMART also provides free assistance to Wilsonville employers setting up trip reduction programs through the SMART Options commuter program.