3 Weeks of TRIP: 87 Companies, 800 Commuters Set to Earn and Save $ with Transit Incentive Program

CHICAGO (March 30, 2011)— In three short weeks, 87 companies have enrolled in the Transit Ridership Improvement Program (TRIP), which gives Cook County employers up to $1,700 for enrolling their employees in a pre-tax transit benefit program. So far, the program has extended pre-tax benefits to an estimated 800 commuters, who can save between 30 percent and 40 percent on their commuting costs by purchasing transit fares before taxes.

Companies large and small are eligible. The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), which is administering the program in coordination with the Cook County Department of Environmental Control and the Regional Transportation Authority, has enrolled firms with as few as one employee to as many as 1,800. Fifty-six companies are entirely new to pre-tax transit benefits, while 31 are taking advantage of the incentive by enrolling more employees.

There’s still time to sign up for this incentive program, but no time is better than right now.

Employers can offer a pre-tax benefit program at any time, but only through TRIP can they receive incentive money for doing so. Funds for the incentives are limited and will be disbursed on a first come, first serve basis.

And, as CNT Vice President of Policy Jacky Grimshaw puts it: “We’ve just experienced the fastest ever two-week increase in gas prices at a time when households are struggling to make ends meet. Families are pinching pennies wherever they can, and signing up for pre-tax transit benefits is a winner for commuters, it’s a winner for employers, and it’s a winner for the environment.”

“Pre-tax transit programs are a major benefit to employers and employees alike,” said Jerry Roper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “Transit is one of our competitive edges here in Chicago because it allows us to move one million people to and from work efficiently. Tax-free transit encourages increased ridership, and today more than ever, transit is important to keeping our economy moving.”

To learn more about this incentive program, visit www.lesstaxingcommute.com or contact Emily Robinson at 773.269.4043 or erobinson@cnt.org.

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Founded in 1978, CNT is a Chicago-based think-and-do tank that works nationally to advance urban sustainability by researching, inventing and testing strategies that use resources more efficiently and equitably. Its programs focus on climate, energy, natural resources, transportation, and community development. CNT is one of eight nonprofits selected from around the world to be recognized by a 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Visit www.cnt.org for more information.