I am proud to have sent a letter today on behalf of the RTA staff, Board of Directors and regional riders, to our region’s federal delegation, thanking them for passing the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the 5-year surface transportation reauthorization bill. In that same letter, which I’ve inserted below, I asked our elected officials in Washington, D.C. to return “transit parity” to public transportation users.
Specifically, the RTA is concerned that Congress reduced the tax-free commuter benefit for public transit riders on January 1, 2015, cutting the benefit in half. Commuters who currently use public transportation receive a monthly pretax deduction of $130 per/month while the maximum allowable parking benefit is at the much higher $250 per/month. With roughly 2.7 million workers using the transit benefit to get from home to work, including a large concentration of northeastern Illinois’ riders, my letter asks that they advocate for the inclusion of permanent parity between the parking and transit benefit in the year end “tax extenders” bill. Read the full letter here. RTA Transit Parity Letter