From Our Partners
by Brittany Brothers, Communications & Outreach Coordinator, Maryland Department of Transportation, with Kristen Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner
As workplace commuting patterns continue to evolve, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants to remind employers about free assistance and incentives through its Commuter Choice Maryland program, which may help with return-to-workplace strategies.
The landscape of commuting options has changed drastically over the last three years, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although working from home continues to be a popular option, whether on a full-time basis or as part of a hybrid work plan, commuters have started returning to public transit and the roadways to get to work.
Commuter benefits can be a low-cost, high-impact way of helping employers improve both employee recruitment and retention. There are also broader advantages to communities, such as reducing traffic congestion and improving regional air quality.
Commuter Choice Maryland initiatives offer a host of opportunities to employees and employers.
Employer Partner Program
The Commuter Choice Maryland Employer Partner Program is open to employers of any size and type, including state and local agencies. Joining the program unlocks several benefits, including free, customized support in developing and/or evaluating employers’ workplace commuting strategies, identifying and recommending new options, and helping to promote Commuter Choice programs to employee teams and prospective employees.
Depending on the location of a business, employers may access even more specialized support from Commuter Choice Rideshare Coordinators, who currently support commuter programs across 11 counties and Baltimore City. Rideshare coordinators are available to help develop commuter programs that maximize financial benefits to businesses and employees alike.
The Employer Partner Program not only assists organizations interested in starting up commuter programs, but also those with existing programs. Whether offering pre-tax or subsidized monetary benefits like pre-paid or reduced cost transit passes, or amenities like convenient and secure bicycle parking, preferential parking for carpools and vanpools, or even formal telework options, employers can join the program at no cost and enjoy statewide recognition for their initiatives.
Employer partners are featured on the Commuter Choice Maryland website and have additional opportunities to share successes and lessons learned through webinars, newsletters, and social media. Interested in becoming a Commuter Choice Employer Partner? Learn more and sign up today at: www.mdot.maryland.gov/employerpartner.
Maryland Commuter Tax Credit
Subsidizing commuter options is now even more rewarding for employers with the recently expanded Maryland Commuter Tax Credit. Businesses, including 501c3 and 501c4 organizations, may be eligible to reclaim as much as 50% of the cost of providing commuter subsidies, up to $100 per employee per month, or $1,200 per employee per year. The tax credit now applies to nearly all commuter options including: public transit; vanpools; carpools; active commuting (walking and biking); employer-sponsored Guaranteed Ride Home, cash-in-lieu of parking, telework, and multimodal “last mile” connection programs. Please click on the hyperlinks to learn more about each of these options. Learn more about how your business can take advantage of the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit by visiting the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit webpage.
To Learn More about Commuter Choice Maryland, contact a Commuter Choice Maryland representative today at CommuterChoice@mdot.maryland.gov or 410-865-1100.