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Transportation Spending Account

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What is the TransitBenefit ProgramTransportation Spending Account
What is the TransitBenefit TSA Card?
What are the benefits of the TSA Card?
How do I save on my taxes when I enroll in the TSA Program?
What are the deduction plan amounts?
Are all the TSA Transportation Deduction Plan Amounts Pre-Tax?
Are there any restrictions on the amounts of my Transportation Deductions?
Are there any service fees for this program?
How is my W-2 affected?
How does the program work?
How do I enroll in the TSA Program?
If I enroll, how will I receive my TSA Card?
Where is the TSA Card accepted?
Are there any purchasing restrictions?
How do I use my TSA Card at MetroCard vending Machines?
What types of MetroCards can I purchase at the MetroCard vending machines?
What happens if my MetroCard purchase amount exceeds my TSA balance?
Can I use the TSA Card at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or a Check Casher to purchase MetroCards?
What does PIN-Based mean?
How can I check my TSA balance?
What happens if my TSA Card is not received or is damaged, lost, or stolen?
Can I get a refund when my TSA Card is Undelivered, Damaged, Lost, or Stolen?
Can I get a refund of my Transportation Deductions if a MetroCard purchased with my TSA Card becomes Damaged or is Lost or Stolen?
I am an employee of the Department of Education, can I suspend my TSA Transportation Deductions from my summer pay?
I am an employee of the Department of Education who works and is paid only ten months per year, is there a TSA plan for me?
How can I change my Transportation Deduction?
How can I suspend my TSA Transportation Deductions when I use leave?
How do I discontinue my participation in the TSA Program?
I participate in a TransitBenefit program, can I switch to another TransitBenefit Program?
If I cancel my participation in the TSA Program, will I get a refund?
Will my enrollment carry over to a new Agency?
If I have two jobs, am I entitled to a TransitBenefit from both agencies?
What happens if I skip a payroll deduction?
Who do I contact regarding my TSA Card?
TransitBenefit TSA Card Customer Service Center


What is the TransitBenefit Program
Under the provisions of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 132, the City offers eligible employees the opportunity to use pre-tax earnings to cover certain public transportation costs through the TransitBenefit Program.

The City offers the Transportation Spending Account Commuter Savings Card (TSA Card), TransitBenefit Premium TransitChek MetroCard (Premium Card), and the TransitBenefit Access-A-Ride (AAR). For information on the Premium Card and AAR you can contact your agency’s TransitBenefit Coordinator or visit our website at www.nyc.gov/payroll.



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What is the TransitBenefit TSA Card?
The TransitBenefit Transportation Spending Account Commuter Savings Card (TSA Card) is a PIN-based debit card linked to a special Transportation Spending Account (TSA), secured by the City’s Contractor, JPMorgan Chase Bank. This voluntary benefit, which provides eligible participating employees with flexibility and control, is offered in response to suggestions made by the Municipal Unions. With the TSA Card, you can choose from different Transportation Deduction Plans and discontinue Transportation Deductions to suit your schedule. The TSA is funded each pay day with your Transportation Deduction. The deducted funds can be used to purchase New York City Transit (NYCT) MetroCards from MetroCard vending machines.

The TSA Card is a financial instrument regulated by the United States Department of the Treasury Regulation E. Users of the TSA Card have all the protections afforded by other credit and debit card users under Regulation E. The TransitBenefit TSA Terms and Conditions, which are attached to this document, outline TSA Card user rights and responsibilities. Please review them.



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What are the benefits of the TSA Card?

  • If you are a frequent NYCT rider, you can save over $300 per year in taxes (based upon annual salary of $38,900-actual savings will vary).
  • You can select a deduction plan to suit your personal transportation needs; Occasional Rides, Frequent Rides, or Express Bus Rides.
  • You can suspend Transportation Deductions while on leave and, if you are a qualifying Department of Education Employee, you can select a plan that features no Transportation Deductions from your July and August summer vacation pay.
  • You have the protection of using a PIN-Based card – a lost TSA Card does not mean lost funds.



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How do I save on my taxes when I enroll in the TSA Program?
Tax law, IRC Section 132, allows you to fund your TSA Card with pre-tax dollars up to $230 per month, average, through payroll deductions. As a result, up to the IRS limit, you do not pay federal, state, City, social security, and Medicare taxes on your Transportation Deductions.

Here's an example of the savings that will accrue to you with the TSA Card if you are a frequent NYCT rider purchasing Monthly Unlimited Ride MetroCards, or if you are an Express Bus rider.

Tax Savings D


MONTHLY UNLIMITED PLAN

EXPRESS BUS RIDER


Without TSA Card
With TSA Card
Without TSA Card
With TSA Card
Bi-weekly Gross Income

$1,496.00 $1,496.00 $1,496.00 $1,496.00
Pre-Tax TSA Transportation Deduction

-$0.00 -$44.50 -$0.00 -$90.00
Salary Subject to Tax

$1,496.00 $1,451.50 $1,496.00 $1,406.00
Payroll Taxes

-$289.27 -$274.42 -$289.27 -$259.22
Post-Tax TSA Transportation Deduction

$0.00 $0.00 $0.00 -$0.00
Bi-Weekly TSA Administrative Fee Deduction

$0.00 -$.84 $0.00 -$.84
Take-Home Pay

$1,206.73 $1,176.24 $1,206.73 $1,145.94
Average Bi-Weekly Commuting Cost

-$44.50 -$0.00 -$90.00 -$0.00
Available Bi-Weekly Income After Commuting

$1,162.23 $1,176.24 $1,116.73 $1,145.94
Bi-weekly TSA Savings


$14.01
$29.21
Annual Savings


$364.26
$759.46

In this example, if you are a Monthly Unlimited Plan rider, your bi-weekly savings after administrative fees are $14.01 and your annual savings are about $364.26. If you are an Express Bus Rider, your bi-weekly savings are $29.21 and your annual savings are about $759.46. Actual savings will vary based upon your earnings, tax situation, and usage. And, when you file your taxes, you may find that you have additional savings.


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What are the deduction plan amounts?
The TSA is designed to give you flexibility and control. There are four Transportation Deduction Plans to meet different NYCT transportation needs. A post-tax deduction to cover the Administrative Fees associated with the program is also taken. These deductions vary depending upon your pay schedule. The following chart contains the Transportation Deduction Plans available for each pay cycle (weekly, bi-weekly, and semi-monthly) and applicable Administrative Fee Deductions.

TSA DEDUCTION PLANS

PAYROLL CYCLES
OCCASIONAL RIDER PLAN
(5 trips/week)

BI-WEEKLY UNLIMITED PLAN
(14-DAY METROCARD)

MONTHLY UNLIMITED PLAN
(30-DAY METROCARD)**

WEEKLY TRIP PLAN
(10 trips/week)
EXPRESS BUS RIDER
PLAN
POST-TAX ADMIN. FEE***
Weekly

$11.25/ pay day $25.75/ pay day $22.25/ pay day $22.50/ pay day $45.00/ pay day $.42
Bi-Weekly

$22.50/ pay day $51.50/ pay day $44.50/ pay day $45.00/ pay day $90.00/ pay day $.84
Semi-Monthly*

$24.75/ pay day $51.50/ pay day $44.50/ pay day $49.50/ pay day $97.50/ pay day $.90
Bi-Weekly
(10 Mos./Yr.)

$22.50/ pay day $51.50/ pay day $44.50/ pay day $45.00/ pay day $90.00/ pay day $.97
Semi-Monthly
(10 Mos./Yr.)

$24.75/ pay day $51.50/ pay day $44.50/ pay day $49.50/ pay day $97.50/ pay day $1.08


*If you are an employee of the Department of Education who is paid through your July and August summer vacation, you can select a plan to have your Transportation Deductions suspended automatically from your summer pay. Administrative Fee Deductions will continue through the summer and your Transportation Deductions will resume automatically in the fall.

** Weekly and Bi-Weekly paid employees enrolled in the Monthly Unlimited Plan will not incur a transportation deduction on the first pay date of the months that have 5 weekly pay dates or 3 bi-weekly pay dates. For specific pay dates when your transportation deduction will be suspended automatically, please contact your agency TransitBenefit coordinator or visit the OPA website: www.nyc.gov/payroll.

*** An Administrative fee of $1.80/month, average, for account maintenance and transaction costs is deducted when your TSA is active.



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Are all the TSA Transportation Deduction Plan amounts Pre-Tax?
IRC 132 provides a pre-tax public transportation spending deduction limit of $230.00/month. The Occasional, Bi-Weekly Unlimited, Monthly Unlimited and Weekly Trip plans are completely pre-tax. The Express Bus Rider deduction plans and the Bi-Weekly Unlimited Plan are pre-and post-tax as follows:

Express Bus Rider Pre & Post-Tax Deduction Amounts/ Pay Day

Payroll Cycles Pre-Tax Deduction
Post-Tax Deduction

Total Deduction
Weekly
$45.00 $0 $45.00
Bi-Weekly
$90.00 $0 $90.00
Semi-Monthly
$97.50 $0 $97.50



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Are there any restrictions on the amounts of my Transportation Deductions?
The average monthly amount of your Transportation Deductions should not exceed your average monthly cost of public transportation to and from work. If your cost of public transportation to and from work changes after you enroll, you should change your Transportation Deduction Plan to accommodate your new circumstance.



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Are there any service fees for this program?
Yes, there is an Administrative Fee of $1.80/month average, a $21.60 maximum annual cost, for account maintenance and transaction costs. The Administrative Fee is a post-tax deduction. It will continue to be deducted from your pay during elected Transportation Deduction suspensions. Upon cancellation from the program, the Administrative Fee will be deducted for one additional month to allow time for you to use your remaining TSA funds.



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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 value of the pre-tax Transportation Deductions from your pay. Your wages will not be adjusted by the value of Administrative Fee Deductions.

Learn more about your W-2



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How does the program work?
After you enroll in the TSA Program, your elected TSA Transportation Deduction Plan amount will be taken from your wages every pay day. You will receive your new PIN-based TSA Card in the mail.  Upon receipt of your TSA Card you will activate the card and create your PIN number.   Your TSA Card will remain valid for as long as your participation in the program continues. A new TSA Card is issued every three years.  You will use the TSA Card to purchase the MetroCard of your choice at any NYCT MetroCard vending machine.



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How do I enroll in the TSA Program?
Submit a completed TransitBenefit Transportation Spending Account (TSA) form to your Agency TransitBenefit Coordinator. (A copy of the form is attached.) You may obtain a TSA form from your Agency TransitBenefit Coordinator, by visiting the Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) website at www.NYC.gov/payroll, or by calling the OPA Service Line at 1-212-669-8555. If you are an employee of the Department of Education (DoE), you can enroll for TransitBenefits at https://payrollportal.nycboe.net from the DoE's intranet, or by obtaining an enrollment form from the DoE website at http://schools.nyc.gov. The application should be mailed to NYC Department of Education, 65 Court Street, Room 1003, Brooklyn, NY 11201.



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If I enroll, how will I receive my TSA Card?
Your TSA Card will be mailed to you at the address you provide on your TSA form. Make sure you provide a complete and accurate address so that you will receive your TSA Card in a timely manner.



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Where is the TSA Card accepted?
Your TSA Card is accepted at NYCT MetroCard vending machines.



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Are there any purchasing restrictions?
The provisions of IRC 132 do not permit pre-tax earnings set aside for transportation to be used for any other purpose.



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How do I use my TSA Card at MetroCard vending machines?
To use your TSA Card at MetroCard vending machines:

  • Select the type of MetroCard you want.
  • Verify the value of the MetroCard you want to buy.
  • Select the “ATM Card” payment option.
  • Insert your TSA Card into the MetroCard vending machine slot.
  • Enter your PIN.
  • Obtain receipt, if you wish.

Once the transaction is processed, the amount of the purchase is deducted from your TSA.



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What types of MetroCards can I purchase at the MetroCard vending machines?
You will be able to purchase any type of MetroCard, pay-per-ride or unlimited ride, to suit your transportation needs, up to the value of the funds available in your TSA. For more information about the types of MetroCards available visit the MTA website at www.MTA.info.



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What happens if my MetroCard purchase amount exceeds my TSA balance?
You will not be able to use the TSA Card unless you have the full amount for the transaction in your TSA. The value of your MetroCard purchase transaction cannot exceed the value of the funds in your TSA.



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Can I use the TSA Card at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or a Check Casher to purchase MetroCards?
No, you may not use your TSA Card at an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or a Check Casher to purchase MetroCards. Your TSA Card can only be used to buy MetroCards at MetroCard vending machines.



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What does PIN-Based mean?
Upon receipt of your TSA Card, you will select your own Personal Identification Number (PIN). You must use your PIN for each MetroCard purchase at MetroCard vending machines. Your PIN helps ensure that no one else can use your TSA Card. Memorize your PIN and keep it confidential. Your TSA Card is your own personal debit card for NYCT transportation costs. You must treat it as you would cash.



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How can I check my TSA balance?
You may access information about your TSA balance through the Chase Cardholders Web site at www.myaccount.chase.com or by calling the Chase Customer Service Center at 1-866-399-1494. Callers will be required to create a six-digit security access code, distinct from your TSA PIN, to secure your account information.



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What happens if my TSA Card is not received or is damaged, lost, or stolen?
As soon as you realize your card has not been received or is damaged, lost, or stolen, contact the Chase Customer Service Center at 1-866-399-1494 (outside the United States, please call Chase collect at 813-432-1973). You will be required to use a six-digit Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system access code for the phone call. Your old TSA Card will be deactivated within 24 hours. A new TSA Card will be mailed to you. You will be charged $2.50 for your replacement TSA Card, except for damaged or non-received cards.



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Can I get a refund when my TSA Card is Undelivered, Damaged, Lost, or Stolen?
No, there is no need for a refund as your Transportation Deductions will still be available in your TSA.




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Can I get a refund of my Transportation Deductions if a MetroCard purchased with my TSA Card becomes Damaged or is Lost or Stolen?
If a MetroCard you purchased with your TSA Card becomes damaged, you must see a NYCT Subway clerk or call 1-212-MetroCard (1-212-638-7622) for assistance. You should also call this number if you purchased a 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard, a 14-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard or 7-day Express Bus Plus MetroCard with your TSA Card and it becomes lost or stolen. Under NYCT's Balance Protection Program, valid loss claims for 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards, 14-Day and 7-day Express Bus passes will be refunded the pro-rated value (currently $3.44/day for 30 day cards; $4.22/day remaining on your 14-Day card; and $7.29/day remaining on your 7-Day Express Bus Plus card) for all remaining unused days, calculated from the date the loss claim was reported. Any refund resulting from a valid Balance Protection loss claim will be in the form of a credit to your TSA Card.



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I am an employee of the Department of Education, can I suspend my TSA Transportation Deductions from my summer pay?
When you enroll in the TSA Program, if you are paid through your July and August summer vacation, you can select a Department of Education Summer Vacation Deduction Plan that will suspend automatically Transportation Deductions from your summer vacation pay. Your Administrative Fee Deductions will continue through the summer and your TSA Card will remain active. Transportation Deductions will resume automatically in the fall.



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I am an employee of the Department of Education who works and is paid only ten months per year, is there a TSA plan for me?
Yes, two plans, for Bi-weekly and Semi-Monthly paid DoE employees respectively, feature pro-rated Administrative Fees that will keep your TSA Card active through the summer, allowing you to buy MetroCards with your TSA balance, even when you are not being paid during July and August.



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How can I change my Transportation Deduction?
Anytime after you enroll, you may change your Transportation Deduction Plan to increase or decrease your Transportation Deduction to meet your own NYCT transportation requirements. If you are a qualifying Department of Education employee, who receives July and August summer vacation pay, you can even change to a plan that automatically will skip your summer Transportation Deductions. To change your deduction, complete a TSA form and select the CHANGE DEDUCTION PLAN option and your new deduction plan. Submit your change to your Agency TransitBenefit Coordinator. Remember, the average monthly amount of your Transportation Deductions should not exceed your average monthly cost of public transportation to and from work .



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How can I suspend my TSA Transportation Deductions when I use leave?
Select the SUSPEND DEDUCTION PLAN option on the TSA form and indicate the pay day on which you want to skip your TSA Transportation Deductions and the pay day on which you want your Transportation Deduction to start again. Submit your completed form to your Agency TransitBenefit Coordinator at least two weeks in advance of the pay day on which you want to skip your Transportation Deduction. The Administrative Fee Deduction will continue while your TSA Transportation Deductions are suspended and your TSA Card will remain active.



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How do I discontinue my participation in the TSA Program?
You do not have to close your TSA to skip deductions. You can continue to participate and use your TSA Card to purchase MetroCards with your available TSA funds, even when Transportation Deductions are not being taken from your pay. However, deductions for Administrative Fees will continue.

If you do wish to discontinue your participation in the TSA Program, complete a TSA form and select the CANCELLATION option. Submit your completed form to your Agency TransitBenefit Coordinator.

After your cancellation is processed, your TSA will remain active for 30 days to permit you to spend your remaining TSA balance. During this time, Administrative Fees will be deducted. The Internal Revenue Code does not permit any funds remaining in your TSA to be refunded.



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I participate in a TransitBenefit program, can I switch to another TransitBenefit Program?
Yes, you may switch from one TransitBenefit Program to another. If you participate in another TransitBenefit Program you can choose to switch to the TSA Program. If you do not switch, participation in the other program will be unaffected. You may not participate simultaneously in more than one TransitBenefit Program. Thus, participation in your old program must conclude before participation in your new program can commence. You may cancel your participation in your old TransitBenefit Program and enroll in your new TransitBenefit Program using the same TransitBenefit form.

When you change, allow about one month between termination in one program and commencement in another program.



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If I cancel my participation in the TSA Program, will I get a refund?
Upon cancellation, funds in your TSA will be available for you to purchase MetroCards for 30 days. The Internal Revenue Code does not permit any funds remaining in your account to be refunded.



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Will my enrollment carry over to a new Agency?
No, if you transfer to another Agency, you must enroll again. You will receive a new TSA Card in the mail. You will have 30 days from your last date employed at your old agency to use funds remaining in your old TSA to purchase MetroCards. After 30 days, your old TSA Card will be deactivated. The Internal Revenue Code does not permit any funds remaining in your TSA to be refunded.



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If I have two jobs, am I entitled to a TransitBenefit from both agencies?
No, you may not have more than one TransitBenefit at a time.



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What happens if I skip a payroll deduction?
If your agency places you in an unpaid leave status, your TransitBenefit participation will be terminated automatically. If your TransitBenefit deductions are not taken for another reason, such as insufficient earnings, your TransitBenefit participation will be terminated after two months. In either event, you will have 30 days to spend your TSA balance. The Internal Revenue Code does not permit any funds remaining in your TSA to be refunded.



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Who do I contact regarding my TSA Card?
Please contact your Agency TransitBenefit Coordinator regarding enrollment, changes of address, change of deduction plans, deduction suspensions, and cancellations.

To check your TSA balance, call the Chase Customer Service Center at 1-866-399-1494 or visit the Chase Cardholder Web site at www.myaccount.chase.com.

Contact the Chase Customer Service Center at 1-866-399-1494 immediately if your TSA Card becomes lost or stolen or if you believe that someone transferred, or may transfer, money from your TSA without your permission. The Chase Customer Service Center will provide a replacement Card. Your prompt action will eliminate or limit your liability. You will be required to use a six-digit Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system access code for the phone call.



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