The Coalition for Smarter Transportation applauds the work of local advocates The Coalition for Smarter Growth on their three year effort to require flexible commuter benefits in Washington DC. On April 7, 2020, the Washington DC City Council unanimously approved the Transportation Benefits Equity Act (B23-148). This new law will allow an employee who is offered a parking benefit by their employer to use the equivalent value of the parking subsidy to pay for transit, active transportation or shared commuting.
According to the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the Transportation Benefits Equity Act requires employers who provide free or subsidized parking to employees to offer those same employees alternatives that include:
- Employer-paid transit benefits;
- Taxable cash for employees who walk, bicycle, or ride in a carpool to work, or who take transit (where cash would make up any difference between the value of the parking and transit cost);
- Increased employer contribution to an employee’s healthcare benefit;
Employers also have the option to:
- Develop a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan to reduce vehicle commute trips toward the moveDC goal of 25% or less of employees’ commute trips made by car or taxi (assisted by and approved by DC Department of Transportation);
- Pay a sizable Clean Air Compliance fee to support TDM measures for each parking benefit offered;
- Cease subsidized parking.
The law includes the following exemptions:
- Employers that currently own the parking used for employees are exempt from this law.
- Existing leased parking: if an employer has an existing lease for parking provided to employees, the employer must comply with the new rules at the end of the current lease.
- Employers that do not provide subsidized parking are exempt.
- Employers with 20 or fewer employees are exempt.
CoaST supports congratulates the Coalition for Smarter Growth on this important victory and we hope other cities will follow Washington DC’s lead.
Link to Legislation & Information — http://lims.dccouncil.us/Legislation/B23-0148?FromSearchResults=true