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Pre-Tax Increase for Penn’s SEPTA Commuter Choice Program/COMPASS
March 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 24

Commuters who regularly purchase passes for public transportation through payroll deduction will see a significant increase in the pre-tax limit for transit purchases due to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Below are the specifications:

• Maximum pre-tax amount was increased to $230 per month or $2,760 per year.

• The entire cost of Zone 3 ($128.30), Zone 4 ($146.80) and Zone 5 ($163.00) passes are now covered under pre-tax deduction.

• The increase also applies to those who use the TransitChek® program for SEPTA, DART, NJ Transit, Amtrak and PATCO.

• The change will be applied to non-exempt staff for February 27 payroll; and to exempt staff for March 31 payroll.

• The costs of the passes are lower than the prior pre-tax threshold for City, Zone 1 and Zone 2, so these pass holders will not be affected.

If you would like to take advantage of the tax relief benefit for commuting expenses please contact the Parking Office at (215) 898-8667. With the closure of the South Street Bridge, Parking Services is also offering alternatives to parking permit holders. See the www.upenn.edu/parking for more information.

—Larry Bell, Director, Department of Transportation and Parking

Almanac - March 3, 2009, Volume 55, No. 24