How does the Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program work?
This plan allows you to participate in the Commuter Benefits Program if you are an employee who receives paratransit services from a transit provider in the Tri-State region. An example of such services is the Access-A-Ride program from MTA’s New York City Transit. In this plan, you fund an account with WageWorks with your pre-tax and post-tax payroll deductions and you can select your Access-A-Ride coupons or other paratransit options on the WageWorks system using the funds in your account. WageWorks will deliver your Access-A-Ride coupons or tickets to your designated mailing address by the 1st day of each calendar month. You will schedule rides with the MTA New York City Transit Access-A-Ride paratransit service as usual. You present your MTA NYCT Access-A-Ride ID and the Access-A-Ride coupon to the Access-A-Ride provider as full payment for a single ride.
What are Paratransit Services?
Paratransit services are special public transportation options for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Are there any service fees for this program?
Yes, there is an administrative fee of $3.05/month. The City pays the administrative fee of $3.05 for participants in the Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program.
How is my W-2 affected?
Your taxable wages in Box 1, social security and Medicare wages in Boxes 3 and 5, and state and local wages in Boxes 17 and 20 will be reduced by the deductions from your pay for the Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program. The amount of the service fee paid to WageWorks in your behalf by the City will be shown in Box 12 as a fringe benefit and added to taxable earnings in Boxes 1, 3, 5, 17, and 20.
How much does it cost?
After you enroll in the Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program, your elected deduction amount will be taken from your wages every pay day. Your deductions will be credited to your Transit Account at WageWorks, the City’s Transit Benefit provider. If you participate in the Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program, you can purchase Access-A-Ride coupons in books of 10 and may want to consider that when making your election amount.
Who is eligible to join the City’s Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program?
Participation is limited to employees who are approved to participate in the MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service or any other regional area Paratransit Service program. If you participate in the MTA NYCT Access-A-Ride paratransit program, you must provide a copy of a valid picture ID or an acceptance letter from the Eligibility Determination Unit of NYCT to enroll in the City’s Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program.
Other regional area Paratransit Program providers will have their own eligibility criteria. You must provide a copy of a valid picture ID and proof of enrollment in the paratransit service.
If I enroll, how will I receive my Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons?
WageWorks will mail your Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons directly to you at the address on file with WageWorks so that they arrive before the first day of the month. For example, your February Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons will arrive during the last week of January. Please note you may not use your agency address.
What if my Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons get lost in the mail or I get the wrong pass in the mail?
It’s hard to believe, but this rarely happens. If this ever does happen to you, simply contact WageWorks at 1-877-WageWorks (1-877-924-3967) and they will assist you right away.
You must contact WageWorks to report the missing order within the first 3 business days of that month. Please note that customer service staff cannot assist with late or lost pass issues until the 1st day of the benefit month.
What happens if my Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons are damaged, lost or stolen?
If your coupons are damaged, you should consult with your transit provider to see what options they support. The Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Plan does not provide any reimbursement if you lose your coupons of if they are stolen. They should be safeguarded in the same manner as any other personal item.
What happens if I skip a payroll deduction?
If you skip a deduction, your participation in the Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program is not affected. You will continue to be enrolled in the program until your eligibility for New York City Transit paratransit service expires or until you cancel your Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program participation.
What happens when I go on vacation?
You may change or suspend your payroll deductions with your TransitBenefit Coordinator and update your Access-A-Ride/Paratransit order with WageWorks accordingly. You must update your order with WageWorks before the 10th of each month which is the ordering deadline for home delivery of coupons.
Must I use all my Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons in a particular tax year?
The Internal Revenue Code* limits monthly Commuter Benefit deductions to a current maximum of $245.00 per month. Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons do not expire. However, you must be an active NYCT Access-A-Ride paratransit service member in order to use NYCT Access-A-Ride services. A valid Access-A-Ride photo ID, in addition to the Access-A-Ride coupon, will be required for each scheduled ride.
*Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 132(f) sets the monthly limit on qualified transportation fringe benefit. Effective 01/01/13 the transportation fringe benefit pre-tax limit is $245/month.
When my participation in the Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program ends, will I get a refund?
No. The Internal Revenue Code does not permit any funds remaining in your account to be refunded to you. The payroll deductions taken for this program must be used to purchase a qualified transit pass from your account.
What happens when I leave City employment?
If you are leaving City employment, you have 90 days after your separation date to spend the remaining funds in your account.
Will my enrollment carry over to a new agency?
Yes, your enrollment will carry over if you switch to a new City agency. In most cases, you will not need to re-enroll under your new agency. Your deductions will continue in your new agency.
You may need to re-enroll to start payroll deductions if you switch from the Department of Education, a CUNY community college or a weekly paid agency like the Department of Sanitation to another City agency, however your account at WageWorks will stay intact.
How do I enroll in the Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program?
Submit a completed Commuter Benefits Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program Enrollment form, along with a copy of a valid NYC Transit paratransit picture ID or an acceptance letter from the MTA New York City Transit Eligibility Determination Unit to your agency's TransitBenefit Coordinator. For Regional Paratransit providers, you will have to provide a copy of your valid picture ID or an acceptance letter from the Regional Paratransit providers. You may obtain an Enrollment from your agency TransitBenefit Coordinator, or from OPA’s web site, www.nyc.gov/payroll .
After you have had your first payroll deduction, go to www.wageworks.com or call the WageWorks Customer Service Center at 1-877-WageWorks (1-877-924-3967) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to elect your Access-A-Ride/Paratransit coupons. You can make your order after your first payroll deduction has been taken, but you must make your order before the 10th of each month which is the ordering deadline for home delivery of coupons.
For City employees to enroll in the Access-A-Ride/Paratransit Program, contact your agency’s TransitBenefit Coordinator. For more information – visit www.nyc.gov/payroll. Click here for a list of City Agency TransitBenefit Coordinators.
For Department of Education (DoE) employees to enroll, contact your agency's Transit Benefit Coordinator. You can also enroll by obtaining an enrollment form from the DoE website at http://schools.nyc.gov. DoE forms are mailed to the Department of Education, 65 Court Street, Room 1003, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
For City University of New York (CUNY) Community College employees, contact your TransitBenefit Coordinator for information.**
**CUNY employees seeking MTA NYCT Access-A-Ride or other Paratransit Service providers must select the Transit Pass plan.
Who should I contact regarding my Access-A-Ride/Paratransit enrollment?
Please contact your agency’s TransitBenefit Coordinator regarding enrollment, deductions, and TransitBenefit procedures. Send new enrollments, changes, and cancellations to your agency’s TransitBenefit Coordinator.
Enrollment forms may be obtained from your agency’s TransitBenefit Coordinator, or by printing it from OPA’s web site, www.nyc.gov/payroll .
For information about obtaining NYCT paratransit service visit the MTA website at www.MTA.info. For information about other regional paratransit service providers contact the provider directly.
For additional information, contact:
- For questions on your Access-A-Ride/Paratransit options, contact WageWorks at www.wageworks.com or call 1-877-WageWorks (1-877-924-3967) Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.