Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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McGovern Rides from Worcester to Boston to Highlight New Transit Benefit for Massachusetts Commuters

Mar 10, 2016
Press Release

WORECESTER and BOSTON, MAToday, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) rode from Worcester to Boston to highlight a permanent increase in the commuter tax benefit for mass transit riders that was included in a bipartisan multi-year tax package that was signed into law in December 2015.

Joining Congressman McGovern were MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola, Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) Executive Director David Strauss,and Edenred COO Meltam Korkmazel as well as leaders from T4Mass, ABC TMA, and MassCommute.

As a result, mass transit commuters in Massachusetts and around the country will be able to receive up to $255 a month in transit benefits. Congressman McGovern has long championed commuter benefit parity, introducing legislation, playing a key role getting it included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and fighting to extend and make it permanent.

“Helping Massachusetts commuters by restoring this mass transit benefit has been a top priority for me and I’m glad that both parties came together in December to make this benefit permanent,” Congressman McGovern said. “This is a big win for Massachusetts, creating big savings for the thousands of workers who take the train to Boston every day and offering employers another great benefit they can use to attract top talent. I look forward to riding from Worcester to Boston to talk about all the ways this will help our families and grow the economy.”

BACKGROUND:

  • The ‘Commuter Benefit Parity Act of 2015’ was a bipartisan bill to establish parity between the parking and transit portions of the transportation fringe benefit by setting the monthly caps for both at $235 per month. This benefit was increased to $255 per month in the final legislation passed in December. 
  • Permanent parity assists commuters in creating permanent changes to the way they commute, moving toward increased ridership of subways, buses and vanpools and significantly reducing the congestion on our roadways.
  • Because of Congressional inaction up until December 2015, the cost for commuters who use the transit benefit practically doubled in recent years.
  • While the parking benefit has remained at $245 a year, the transit benefit dropped to $125, leaving almost 3 million of America’s commuters with up to $1,440 a year in additional tax burden.
  • Congressman McGovern helped lead the bipartisan effort in recent years to bring permanent parity to transit and parking pre-tax benefits. 

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