With a little help from Congress, commuters relying on mass transit to get to work could lose a significant chunk of change next year.
Starting on Jan. 1, the federal commuter tax benefit will drop from $245 to $130 per month. According to a Friday Washington Post report, that could cost some regular users almost $1,000 in 2014.
While mass transit riders are facing reduced benefits, the same can’t be said for drivers. The Post noted that commuter parking tax benefits will rise from $245 to $250 per month.
“This is the biggest disparity between the two components of the commuter benefit that we have ever seen,” Natasha Rankin, executive director of the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, told the paper. “For those who rely on mass transit, where you also have increasing costs, this is a double hit.”… (more)
Transit credits expire while local fares increase, and Muni plans to request an additional $3 billion in November. Voters may vote for a shift in priorities instead.
A commute crisis could hit the Bay Area next month if two of the region’s major transit agencies fail to negotiate contracts with their unions.
Labor contracts for both BART and AC Transit will expire June 30th.
What would be the impact of the strike? And how many Bay Area riders could be stranded if both agencies shut down?
Reporter Stephanie Martin spoke with San Francisco Business Times reporter Eric Young, who has been looking at what’s at stake for the region’s mass transit riders… (more)
This is the reason why we need a balanced transit approach. Without two major transit systems, there is no way people can get to work easily, and in some cases, get to work period. This is why we need to keep all transportation options open. We sometimes MUST rely on our cars. On days with limited public transit there should be limited parking enforcement.