Congress rights a wrong by establishing parity with parking benefits
Media Contact: David Roscow, 202-537-1645 x 254
Washington, DC - With bus and subway fares continuing to rise across the country the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) praised Congress for adjusting the transit commuter tax benefit to match the current parking benefit as part of H.R. 8 – the bill passed last night to avoid the fiscal cliff.
“We applaud Congress for increasing this commuter tax benefit that will provide much needed financial assistance to working families,” said ATU International President Larry Hanley. “The average American family devotes nearly 20 percent of its income to transportation – second only to housing. The increase in this benefit means they have one less expense to worry about, and in today’s economy, every dollar counts.”
Under the new legislation the commuter tax benefit will rise to $240 per month to be on par with the parking benefit. When this law expired, the commuter benefit was rolled back to $120 per month while the similar tax break for those who drive to work increased to $240 a month.
“This tax benefit encourages more people to use public transportation, which has many environmental, social and economic benefits,” Hanley continued. “When people take public transit, there are fewer cars stuck in traffic, decreased pollution and less dependence on foreign oil.”
One full 40-foot bus takes 58 cars off the road. Per year, public transportation saves more than 885 million gallons of gasoline, which means that communities are healthier, with fewer medical problems caused by air and water pollution.
“The transit benefit is good for the community, our economy, and our environment,” Hanley continued. “We look forward to working with Congress to make this a permanent benefit for commuters.”
About the ATU
The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is comprised of over 190,000 members in 264 local unions spread across 44 states and nine provinces, including 3,000 workers at Greyhound Lines, Inc. Composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.