Save $100 per month and ease traffic congestion and pollution | PostIndependent.com
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Save $100 per month and ease traffic congestion and pollution

Cathy Tuttle Special to the Post Independent

Employers are now able to offer their employees up to $100 per month in pretax commuting benefits. This is a boost from $65 previously allowed under the federal tax code.Program participants may use the benefit to commute to work on buses and in vanpools. An increase in participation in transit benefit programs across the country provides more transportation options and greater mobility and opportunities for commuters. Encouraging more public transportation ridership also helps decrease air pollution and eases traffic congestion, benefits for riders and nonriders alike.Under federal tax laws, the benefit is available three ways: 1) as a tax-free, employer-paid benefit of up to $100 a month to the employee, where the employer receives a tax deduction for the expense and saves on payroll-related taxes; 2) as an employee-paid pre-tax benefit, where employers allow employees to set aside up to $100 a month of pre-tax income, and; 3) as a shared cost arrangement where employers provide a portion of public transportation or vanpooling as a tax-free benefit and allow the employee to set aside pre-tax income to pay for the remaining amount of the benefit (up to the specified limits). Since its inception, the benefit has provided an optimal opportunity to link private and public sector resources to improve the quality of transportation choices. Providing these choices is seen as a major regional tool to confront traffic congestion and urban sprawl.Interested employers and employees may obtain more information by requesting a brochure from the APTA Information Center at info@apta.com, or by visiting the APTA Web site, http://www.apta.com.Nominate transit HEROESNominate your favorite bus commuter or driver. Chosen entrants will receive a free lunch and one month of free bus service.Once a month in this column, we will introduce to you an individual that takes advantage of the bus service in this community or an individual who drives one of these large multi-passenger vehicles.In 25 words or less, please describe why this person should be recognized. Entrants should ride one of the valley’s buses at least two times a week or consistently at lunch or break times. Please mail nomination forms to: TRY Alternative Transportation, City of Glenwood Springs, 101 West 8th St., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 or e-mail to try@ci.glenwood-springs.co.us.Traffic Advisory NoticeDrivers who use West 13th Street west of Midland Avenue are advised that the heated concrete slab at the intersection with Riverview Avenue is not working properly. The city is working to diagnose and correct the problem. Until it is fixed, city maintenance crews will be giving this location a high priority for snow removal and deicing. However, when winter driving conditions exist, drivers are advised to exercise the same amount of care at this location as they would on any other of the steep streets in Glenwood Springs. Drivers should not expect the pavement to be dry when approaching this intersection and should drive accordingly.The heated pavement on West 10th Street west of Midland is functioning better. Drivers in the Red Mountain area may want to consider using 10th Street for access to and from Midland Avenue when adverse driving conditions exist.Conversion of overhead to underground electric lines will continue in the front and back yards in the Park Drive – Polo Road Subdivision.Cathy Tuttle is with the consulting firm of Tuttle Marketing and Communications and is the TRY/TDM manager/consultant for the city of Glenwood Springs. For additional information please call 384-6427 or e-mail to try@ci.glenwood-springs.co.us. This column appears every Monday to explain how each person in our community can make a difference in our quality of life. Transportation Responsibility & You – one day at a time, one trip at a time!


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