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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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SEPTA Urges Riders to Contact Elected Officials to Save Commuter Tax Benefit

December 06, 2010

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTA is encouraging its riders and employers enrolled in SEPTA's Commuter's Choice transit discount programs to contact their U.S. Congressional representatives, asking them to extend the current maximum $230 pre-tax mass transit benefit before it expires on December 31, 2010.

The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) changed the transit/vanpool portion of the IRS tax code of Commuter Benefits, allowing employers to offer employees up to $230 per month in pre-tax transit/vanpool and/or parking benefits. If legislation is not passed or the ARRA is not extended before its December 31, 2010 expiration date, the transit/vanpool benefit will be reduced to its previous maximum of $120 per month. The pre-tax parking benefit will not be affected.

"More than 900 area businesses and thousands of their employees currently take advantage of the pre-tax benefits offered by SEPTA's Commuter's Choice programs such as ComPass and TransitChek," said SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey. "Failure to extend the ARRA will adversely affect mass transit program participants and their employers. We ask that our Commuter's Choice riders contact their legislators and urge them to continue to reward citizens who make the environmentally- and economically-wise decision to use public transportation by providing the same pre-tax benefit as those who drive to work."

SEPTA riders and their employers can learn more about the ARRA and send a message directly to their representatives online at www.preservethelimit.com. More information on preserving the current pre-tax transportation limit can also be found at this website. For more information on SEPTA's Commuter Choice programs, visit www2.septa.org/choice.