PHILADELPHIA - Providing commuter benefits to employees will soon be a requirement for businesses in Philadelphia. A bill introduced by Councilwoman Helen Gym passed the city council on Thursday and now heads to the mayor's desk for final approval. The bill would require all companies with 50 or more employees to offer benefits such as free transit passes and transit key cards.
The benefits could be provided to employees through a pre-tax payroll deduction or an employer-paid benefit.
This proposed law would make public transportation cheaper for Philadelphia employees and more attractive for the city's workers. The bill would require Philadelphia employers to provide transit passes to their employees. The Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability has determined that the cost will be less than the savings the city expects from the tax cut. The bill has been endorsed by Mayor Jim Kenney's administration, which helped develop the bill and support its passage.
The bill is part of a larger initiative to reduce traffic congestion and emissions while providing more affordable transportation options. The benefits would include preloaded SEPTA key cards and bicycle storage and maintenance. The savings from the bill could help alleviate inflation. Commuter benefits in Philadelphia could save businesses millions of dollars each year. In fact, some Philadelphia employers already offer some form of commuter benefits.