Growing pains for mass-transit commuters

Yesterday, December 19, NY Senator Charles Schumer made an announcement saying the pretax commuter benefit, which can be worth more than $1,000 per household per year, was about to expire at the end of 2011. With a loss of $250 million in the MTA’s budget  due to a cut to the MTA payroll tax, and a projected hike in mass transit prices in the coming year, New Yorkers, who rely on mass-tranist as their primary transit option, are faced with mounting costs.

The commuter benefit is an employer-provided tax break that allows workers to save money on their daily commute. This break covers up to $230 per month from a person’s annual salary for his/her mass transit commute or parking for those who drive. There is also some tax relief for sharing a van pool or even bicycling. Weirdly, car commuters also get these tax benefits–which are not being cut at the end of the year.

In other words, a solo driving is being incentivized by the NY State legislature, along with environmental degradation and congestion. Anyone out there know why? It’s a real question, we don’t understand this…