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Calculating your commuting costs

 

How much does it cost to drive?


The IRS calculates the cost of operating a car in 2001 at 34.5 cents per mile.
According to AAA, the national average
per mile in 2000 was 49.1 cents
(based on driving 15,000 miles per year).

To figure out how much it costs you to drive to work, follow the simple formula below:

__________ x 34.5 per mile = ________
(round trip miles)

x 21(workingdays/month) = ___________
                                         (total monthly cost)

Scenario 1: 55 miles round trip
Driving Alone vs.
Carpooling and Vanpooling*

 

Scenario 2: 80 miles round trip


Driving vs. Riding the Train*


MTA Metro-North

 

New Haven Line:


New Haven to Stamford


Harlem Line:


Brewster to White Plains

 

Daily Fee

 

Daily Fee

 

Monthly Fee

 

Drive Alone
Carpool (2 people)
Vanpooling*

 

18.98
9.49
5.25

 

Drive Alone
Train  (New Haven Line)
(Harlem Line)

 

27.60
18.00

13.00

 

579.60
170.60

117.25

 

* Figures from Easy Street van services
   in 2000

 

 

According to AAA, the national average per mile in 2016 was 0.571 dollars (57.1 cents) based on driving 15,000 miles per year. To figure out how much it costs you to drive to work, follow the simple formulas below:

______ (round trip miles) x 0.571 dollars per mile = _______ (round trip cost)

______ (round trip cost) x 21 (working days/month) = _______ (total monthly cost) 

Scenario 1: Driving Alone vs. Carpooling
and Vanpooling-- 55 miles round trip

 

Daily
Cost

 

Monthly
Cost

 

·         Driving alone

 

$31.40

 

$659.50

 

·         Carpool (2 people)

 

$15.70

 

$329.70

           
           
           

Scenario 2: Driving vs. Riding the Train
-- 80 miles round trip

 

Daily
Cost

 

Monthly
Cost

 

·         Driving alone

 

$45.68

 

$959.28

 

·         MTA Metro-North New Haven Line: 
New Haven to Stamford*

 

$16.50

 

$165.50

 

·         MTA Metro-North Harlem Line:  Brewster to White
Plains*

 

$15.00

 

$159.75

 

*Monthly train tickets are cheaper than 42 one-way
tickets (21 days x 2 one-way trips per day). Train fares are subject to change.

       

Figures above are based on an average of 21 working days per month.

Cost per mile estimate based on AAA's "Your Driving Costs 2016" brochure. Please note, .571 is a default composite average cost per mile for small, medium and large sedans that average 15,000 miles per year. To calculate your exact cost per mile, see the brochure.

 

As part of  Westchester’s SMART COMMUTE Program, we will provide a Transportation Fair at your work site. Your fair will be tailored to your location and may be as big or as small as you would like.

An information table, for example, can be set up in a common area of your worksite during lunch hour where employees can learn about their commute options in a casual atmosphere.

The Commute Alternatives Division of the Department of Public Works and Transportation will provide posters to promote the fair prior to the selected date and will set up on the day of the event.  Employers are expected to encourage their employees to use alternative modes of transportation and encourage participation at these events

At Transportation Fairs, employees have the opportunity to:

  • Talk to mass transit representatives to learn about commute options and plot a route tailored to their individual needs
  • Find a carpool partner with Metro Pool’s “Pool Matching” system  
  • Get free ride MetroCards and try Westchester’s Bee-Line buses 
  • Pick up current schedules for buses and trains, route maps  
  • Learn how alternative modes of transportation can help save time and money, reduce stress, reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a better quality of life

It’s that simple.  It’s a valuable benefit and it's free.

Call (914) 813-7824 for further information or email us at .

The Commute-n-Save Program is a great cost-effective, value-added benefit.  Provisions in the Internal Revenue Code allow your company greater flexibility in offering this benefit that works for you and your company. It works for business. It works for the economy. It works for the environment. Let it work for you.

Westchester’s Federal Commuter Choice Program Option
Tax-free commuter benefits, also known as qualified transportation fringes, are employer provided voluntary benefit programs that allow employees to reduce their monthly commuting expenses for transit, vanpooling, bicycling and work-related parking costs.

As of January 1, 2018, if your company offers this fringe benefit, you are eligible to use up to $255 a month of your pre-tax income for transportation costs. Your company can offer commuter benefits in the form of tax-free employer-paid subsidies, pre-tax employee-paid payroll deductions, or a combination of both.

Save Money with Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits
The employee’s taxable income is lowered, since commuting costs are deducted from their income using pre-tax paycheck dollars. The company’s payroll taxes are also lowered by the total amount that all employees contribute pre-tax, because that amount is no longer categorized as taxable payroll dollars (wages or salary) for your business.

What Pre-Tax Commuter Benefits Can Be Used for                                                                                  

Commuter, transit or transportation benefits are a way for employers to let employees use pre-tax dollars for their work-related transportation expenses, such as:

  • Transit passes: bus, train, subway, ferry
  • Parking fees
  • Bike maintenance expenses
  • Vanpooling (as long as van seats 6 & 80% of the miles are work-related commuter miles)

Ease and Flexibility in Offering the Benefit
Provisions in the Internal Revenue Code for the qualified transportation fringe benefit make it easier for companies to offer public transportation benefits to their employees. This Federal transportation fringe benefit is exempt from the complex use restrictions common to cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts (FSA). It is excluded from the cafeteria plans under section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your company will not have to write a plan document or obtain IRS approval.

So there is less paperwork. There are no irrevocable elections or forms. This pre-tax fringe benefit can be started at any time of the year and enrollment can be limited to certain times of the year.  The Smart Commute team will guide you through the process and offers free educational tabling events to explain pre-tax commuter benefits to your employees.

Call (914) 813-7741 for details or contact us at

 

Many of Westchester County’s employers and building owners and managers are realizing that traffic congestion is a growing problem having negative impacts on the business community and our quality of life.

The Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation has developed Westchester’s Smart Commute program to alert both employers, building owners and managers and their employees and tenants of various strategies to increase the use of transit and other alternatives in order to help reduce drive-alone commuting.

Over 100 employers are enrolled in the program and receive free commuting benefits for employees and others traveling to their location, including:

  • Transportation Information Fairs that can be held at your work site
  • The $Commute-n-Save Program$ that gets employees to work using pre-tax salary dollars, and saves employers on payroll related taxes
  • A Commute Information Rack with restocking service to make transit schedules available at your location
  • Worksite survey and "Go Green" commuting plan tailored to the needs of your worksite, and enabling your employees to reduce their carbon footprint

For more information about the program or to become a member,  call (914) 995-4444.

What is a work site Smart Commute program?
 A Work Site Smart Commute program is an array of strategies implemented at an employment location that are designed to promote and encourage employees or tenants to consider and use alternatives to driving-alone to work.

To be most effective, the program should enjoy management support from the very top. Additionally, a staff person at the work location should be assigned Smart Commute program responsibilities that only needs to be just a part of his or her assigned work.

What are commute alternatives?
Commute alternatives are the various ways of getting to and from work. Employees at your work site select the way they commute based on their work hours, location of the work site, the nature of their work, the need to do personal errands and, of course, the cost.

Employers can help employees find a smarter way to get to work with the help of Westchester’s Smart Commute program which can provide employees with specific information about transit, carpooling, vanpooling and other options.

Employers can also sponsor programs such as telecommuting, alternate work schedules, a guaranteed ride home program, and incentives to promote commute alternatives.

Why commute alternatives?
Growing traffic congestion threatens our quality of life. Traffic congestion is a major problem nationwide as frustrated businesses and commuters waste an astonishing $72 billion in fuel and time each year. Traffic congestion can waste energy; delay the delivery of goods and services; result in employee tardiness; create stress; pollute the air and raise the cost of both living and doing business in our county.

Benefits of a Smart Commute program at your work site
Studies show that employer involvement greatly improves the use of commute alternatives among employees. Everybody wins.

Your company or organization wins through:

  • Improved employee productivity
  • Improved morale
  • Easier recruitment and retention
  • Reduced parking and office space needs/costs
  • Reduced absenteeism and late arrivals
  • Public recognition as a good corporate citizen 

Your employees win through:

  • Reduced commuting time and expense
  • Reduced wear and tear on personal vehicles
  • Less stress
  • Productive use of time while taking transit or ridesharing
  • Flexible work schedules and arrangements  

Our community wins through:

  • Easier travel on streets and highways
  • Increased economic vitality
  • Economic development benefits
  • Reducing our carbon footprint
  • Improved overall quality of life