How to Lower Your Fare

Tips and links on tax-free transit benefits

Metro Card

Step One: Get With the TransitChek Program

You can lower your transit costs a lot. And you'll never have to wait on line in the subways again.

How? By getting your employer to join any one of several tax-free transit fare programs. Here's how tax-free transit fare benefits work:

You can have up to $255 a month of your salary exempt from all income taxes - as long as the money is used to pay for the cost of getting to work by transit. You don't need to do anything fancy, like itemize your taxes. The money will be automatically set aside and not reported as taxable income on your W-2 form.

The bottom line: You pay less in taxes. This can cut hundreds of dollars a year on your subway, bus or commuter rail costs. Your boss saves as well, because the company gets a similar break on employer taxes.

It’s really convenient. Many employees get their TransitChek MetroCards with their regular paychecks - some even get their MetroCards mailed to them to them.

Step Two: Get More Info

Several companies offer tax-free transit fare benefits. The MTA has compiled a list of providers. You can also learn more about NYC's new commuter benefits law.

Step Three: Talk to Your Employer

There are lots of good reasons your employer or company would want to provide tax-free transit benefits.

For another way to save time and money, find out how to buy MetroCards online and find out which merchants sell them.

In the News
Even Newer Subway Signals Cause Headaches on F Train  (New York Times, April 15, 2018)
Meet the Brit in charge of fixing NYC's subway  (BBC News, April 8, 2018)
NYC politicians, transit advocates react to Cuomo’s 2019 state budget  (Metro US, April 2, 2018)
New York Taxi Drivers See State Fee as Blow to Battered Industry  (Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2018)
MTA Answers Straphangers' Questions on Twitter  (CBS 2 New York, March 29, 2018 )
New York City Transit Chief: Subway Signal Overhaul Could Be Done in 10 to 15 Years  (Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2018)
Group makes final push for $12 NYC congestion charge  (Daily News, March 22, 2018)
Inside City Hall: Congestion pricing... finally?  (NY1, March 22, 2018)
Queens firm jacked up Battery Tunnel fix-up costs by $68M, stands to claim $1.4M bonus for finishing early  (Daily News, March 8, 2018)
Riders Want City to Speed Up New Technology for Buses  (City Limits, March 6, 2018)
Advocates Call on MTA to Make New Fare Technology Fairer  (Next City, March 5, 2018)
The MTA’s Bus Action Plan Better Commit to Citywide All-Door Boarding  (Streetsblog, February 22, 2018)
MTA bus routes are failing when it comes to speed and reliability, report says  (amNY, February 8, 2018)
Nobody’s neutral on congestion price report  (Queens Chronicle, January 25, 2018)
Now the Real Work Begins on a Manhattan Congestion Plan  (The New York Times, January 25, 2018)
Mayor Forces Delay of Cuomo’s Plan to Renovate 33 Subway Stations  (The New York Times, January 24, 2018)
M.T.A. May Have Inflated Number of Subway Power Delays  (The New York Times, January 21, 2018)
MTA adds extra-long cars to the C line to make more room for riders  (Curbed New York, December 19, 2017)
In Major Cities, African Americans Have to Put Up With Especially Long Commutes  (Alternet, December 12, 2017)
Gov. Cuomo urged to sign law doubling free transfers on pay-per-ride MetroCards  (Daily News, December 12, 2017)