If you are a business owner, organization, or college/university, providing public transit group passes to your staff can be a benefit for everyone. Why should you consider group passes for your employees? Here is some information that can help you make an informed decision about providing a valuable benefit to your employees.
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Outreach and Engagement Administrator
Federal law allows employers three ways to reduce the cost of commuting via public transportation (bus, train, ferry or registered vanpool) or qualified parking for employees.
Companies can offer employees:
To review the IRS’ Employer Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, go to:
Direct Billing - Issue passes to employees upon request and CET will bill monthly for only the number issued.
Group Pass Program - (See CET Group Pass Program below)
The monthly cost is calculated on where your employees work and live and the number of employees who work during transit operating hours for a low monthly cost, but the benefit applies to all your employees.
These are all individually structured contracts that require approval by COIC-CET and the participating entity.
A Group Pass Program is one in which the cost of transit fares is shared by a group. Bend Dial-a-Ride is not inclusive of this program. All persons within the group receive the transit benefit, whether or not they actually use the service. The employer enters into an annual contract for services with the COIC. In this way, the cost per person for the service is significantly reduced, and ridership within the group can be expected to increase significantly.
COIC will consider any organization, public or private, for a group pass program if it:
Many organizations have fewer than 10 employees and wish to participate. In order to meet this growing need, COIC will allow associations to pool member organizations into a single employee pool and enter into a group pass contract within the guidelines above. The association may be for government, profit or nonprofit, but will be held responsible for the agreement and collecting required information and payment from the participants.
A base rate per employee, per month will be levied on individuals within the organization. The organization may choose to participate in a program for only one specific zone or multi-zone. Based on the price per zone listed below, all employees regardless of number of hours worked, who have regularly assigned day shifts (between 7am-6pm, M-F) will be counted based on if they need a zone 1, zone 2, zone 3, or multi-zone to travel between work and home. Organizations with unusual employment structures for hours worked and or seasonality, such as schools, may negotiate a more tailored pricing approach with COIC. Once each year, the organization who has entered into a group pass contract with COIC will supply a list of all employees with the following information: last name/first initial, work location, home address, and standard shift. COIC will “certify” the correct employee count per zone and issue a certification to be used for billing the rest of the year.
Contracts will normally be for a one-year period, with annual renewals.
Group pass participants are to have photo identification that is easily verified by the bus driver. The photo identification may be either the organization's, in which case it must have a CET zone designated validation sticker, or issued by CET. In either case, the cost of issuing the photo identification will be borne by the organization. Participating organizations will be responsible for administering the program within their organizations.
COIC will provide trip planning assistance for the individuals of a group pass organization. Marketing of the service to individuals of a group pass organization will be conducted where it is determined to have a significant impact on ridership.