Commuter Benefits FAQs
1. WHAT IS THE COMMUTER BENEFITS PROGRAM?
Commuter Benefits allows you to pay for qualified transit passes and parking expenses using pre-tax money. The pretax limit per pay period is currently $130. When you place an order, you are asking the District to withhold money from your paycheck and use it for your transit and/or parking needs.
2. HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Go to www.wageworks.com and click on the link “First Time User? Register with WageWorks Now” at the left hand side of the page. Fill out the required information (name, DOB, home zip, and your ID Code). The ID code is the last 4 digits of your SSN. Do not enter your SFUSD or WageWorks ID.
3. HOW DO I ORDER PASSES?
After logging in and selecting your SFUSD the Commuter tab, click ”Place Commuter Order” and select “Public Transportation”. The system will automatically update with the transit passes available in your area.
4. WHICH TYPES OF TRANSIT PASSES ARE AVAILABLE?
You can opt to get a Commuter Card or transit pass for your selected transit agency (MUNI, BART, etc.). The Commuter Card is a stored value card that can be used to purchase tickets or passes. The Commuter Card is a pin less debit card so make sure you choose “credit” when making your purchases. This is a less convenient but more flexible way to acquire a transit pass.
5. HOW DO I USE THIS BENEFIT WITH A CLIPPER® CARD?
If you’re planning on using Clipper® Card, you can either have a transit pass or E-Cash directly loaded onto your card ($2-3 fee) or you can request a Commuter Card and add value to your Clipper® ® Card at a kiosk or vending machine.
To load a pass directly onto your card, simply select “Clipper” as your transit agency when placing an order on the WageWorks website.
If you choose to use a Commuter Card to add value to your Clipper® Card, please keep in mind that due to the way Clipper® processes authorizations, you will need an extra $2 in your account over what you wish to load on your card. That’s because Clipper® places a temporary $2 authorization fee on your card to determine if the card is valid, but this fee is not refunded until after you load your pass or transit cash. Autoload may be set up through WageWorks to fund your Clipper® card or the WageWorks Commuter Card balance may be used to add value to the Clipper® card.
For info: www.Clippercard.com/ClipperWeb/transitbenefits.do
6. HOW DO I GET A HIGH-VALUE BART CARD?
BART High-Value Discount Pass is available through WagWorks and provides a 6.25% discount when purchased in denominations of $48 and $64.
Order Commuter Card and choose an initial load value that will cover your monthly commute. Upon receiving your card, activate it immediately by calling the number on the back of the card.
With your Commuter Card in hand, go to the Clipper® Autoload website: www.Clippercard.com/ClipperWeb/getTranslinkRegisterForAutoloadInfo.do
Enter your Commuter Card information and select the BART high value product. You will receive either $48 or $64 of BART funds on your Clipper® card within three days.
When your balance falls below $10, Clipper® will automatically pull funds from your Commuter Card to load the same fare product. Once you set up Autoload, your transit benefit will load directly onto your Clipper® card–there is no need to carry your Commuter Card with you.
The maximum funds allowed on the Commuter Card is $1500 . The funds reside there until pulled by Autoload. This allows you to avoid the $300 load limit for Clipper® cards. If you choose to later use a transit provider outside the Clipper® system, you will have the flexibility to do so, as Clipper® does not allow for refunds on funds loaded onto the Clipper® card.
Make sure that you keep enough funds on your Commuter Card. If Autoload pulls and there is not sufficient funding, the card will be blocked until you contact Clipper® customer service to restart the process or supply another card number.
7. CAN I ASK WAGEWORKS TO LOAD THE BART HIGH VALUE DISCOUNT PASS TO MY CLIPPER® CARD?
Yes, however, there is a monthly processing fee of up to $2 associated with this product. WageWorks is required to collect this fee and pass 100% of it on to the operator of the direct load program.
8. I LOST MY CLIPPER® CARD AND GOT A NEW ONE, CAN WAGEWORKS TRANSFER FUNDS FROM MY OLD CARD TO MY NEW CARD?
No. Only Clipper® has the ability to transfer funds from an existing card to a new card. To get funds transferred from one Clipper® Card to another, you must do the following:
1. Contact Clipper® and ask them to transfer any existing balance from the old card to the new card if they haven’t already.
2. Come to the WageWorks site and update you pending election with the new card serial number.
9. WHEN DO I GET MY FIRST COMMUTER PASS?
The cut-off has moved to the 4th of each month for benefits starting two months later.
10. WHEN IS THE PAYMENT DEDUCTED FROM MY PAYCHECK?
Two months before you receive your pass. For biweekly employees, the commuter deduction and fee are taken out at the second pay period of the month.
11. WHY IS THERE A FEE?
When the employee of a business decides to take a pre-tax deduction, the business gets a payroll tax break. Businesses use this tax break to pay the monthly fee for their employees. Since SFUSD does not pay the same payroll tax, the fee has to be covered by the employee. Thanks to our collaboration with the City, however, the $3.15 fee is the lowest in the industry and less than you’ll be saving by paying for your commute passes with pre-tax money.
12. CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I DON’T NEED A TRANSIT PASS EVERY MONTH?
Absolutely. When you establish an online account, you can order passes only in the months when you will need them for commuting to work.
13. CAN I USE THIS BENEFIT FOR BIKE COMMUTE EXPENSES?
No. Current IRS rules prevent SFUSD from including bike benefits in a pre-tax benefits program. For more info, see http://www.sfbike.org/?commute.
14. CAN THIS BENEFIT BE USED FOR PARKING EXPENSES?
This benefit is available for specific parking garages in the financial District. You can elect to pay out of pocket and submit to WageWorks for reimbursement (Pay Me Back), or you can instruct WageWorks to send a payment directly to the garage for you each month (PayMyProvider).
15. CAN THIS BENEFIT BE USED TO PAY FOR FAST TRAK/TOLLS OR FAMILY MEMBERS?
No. Sorry. IRS regulations prohibit this.
16. WHY CAN’T I LOG INTO THE WEBSITE?
If you can’t log in then the system, this could be for two main reasons:
– The spelling of your name or your address is incorrect (match your paycheck).
– You are not eligible for commuter benefits (contact Payroll).