San Francisco Department of the Environment

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San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance

The San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance requires employers to provide a commuter benefits program that supports and encourages their employees to bike, take transit and carpool to work. The goal is to reduce traffic congestion and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by focusing on a reduction in single-occupancy driving trips.

Who Needs to Comply?

Businesses are subject to the Ordinance if they have both

  • A location in San Francisco and
  • 20 or more employees nationwide

Businesses with more than 50 employees across the Bay Area:

  • Need to register with the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program, which is administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. For additional information or help with the Bay Area Ordinance, email [email protected], call 511 or from outside of the Bay Area call 510-285-3182.
  • Will not need to comply with the San Francisco Ordinance or report to the Department of the Environment

Commuter Benefits - reporting your company's compliance

How to Comply with the San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance

The San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance requires businesses to offer one of the following transportation benefits:

  1. Pre-Tax Benefit – A monthly pre-tax deduction, up to $260/month, to pay for transit or vanpool expenses
  2. Employer-Paid Benefit – A monthly subsidy for transit or vanpool expenses equivalent to the price of the San Francisco Muni Fast Pass (including BART travel)
  3. Employer-Provided Transportation – A company-funded bus or van service to and from the workplace
  4. Any combination of the above

How to Set Up a Commuter Benefits Program 

The San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance requires businesses to offer one of the following transportation benefits:

 

  1. Pre-Tax Benefit – A monthly pre-tax deduction, up to $260/month, to pay for transit or vanpool expenses
  2. Employer-Paid Benefit – A monthly subsidy for transit or vanpool expenses equivalent to the price of the San Francisco Muni “A” Pass (including BART travel). View the current monthly fare
  3. Employer-Provided Transportation – A company-funded bus or van service to and from the workplace
  4. Any combination of the above

Enforcement

The Department of the Environment’s priority is to assist companies in implementing a low-cost benefit by providing free consultations and tools for easy compliance. For companies that do not comply with the Ordinance, the department will take the following steps as necessary:

  1. Warning - A written notice of violation.
  2. Fines - Fines will be levied 90 days after the initial written notice. Employers will be subject to a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation and $500 for the third violation, up to a maximum of $800.
  3. Please refer to the Commuter Benefits Ordinance Rules and Regulations for additional information about enforcement. 

Commuter Benefits Ordinance Rules and Regulations (PDF, in English) 

FAQs


Additional Resources

San Francisco Commuter Benefits Ordinance - Environment Code Section 427


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