Pre-Tax Commuter Accounts

Start Saving Time and Money on Public Transit and Parking as Part of Your Daily Commute

Washington State University is partnering with WageWorks® to provide a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for public transit and parking expenses — including train, subway, bus, ferry, eligible vanpool — and qualified parking as part of your daily commute to work. WSU recognizes that our employees live and work all over the state and country. For those employees who live in the U.S. and currently have to pay for their commuting costs, you will have the option to do so on a pre-tax basis through the WageWorks Commuter program.

If you already pay for your parking pass from WSU on a pre-tax basis this plan is NOT for you.
You may be eligible IF:
* You purchase transit passes
* You pay for parking from a non-WSU parking provider
* You participate in a vanpool program

Start Any Time

You’ll be able to start utilizing this benefit to purchase your transit passes, pay your parking garage directly, or set aside money into your account on a pre-tax basis. You can sign up at any time! No need to wait for open enrollment.

Sign Up Now

  1. Complete the Commuter Benefit Account Form and return it to Human Resource Services (HRS).
  2. After HRS processes your form you’ll receive an email letting you know that you can create a login with WageWorks.
  3. Login to your WageWorks portal and make your election no later than the 10th of the month.
  4. Continue to manage your deductions — you can make updates monthly or you can set up recurring deductions.

How It Works

After you’ve enrolled in the plan:

  • Determine how much to contribute:
    • Estimate how much you’ll need for the next month
    • Contribute that much to your Account
  • Your deduction will be taken from your second paycheck of the month, before the benefit month:
    • Example: Make your election on July 9th for August, on July 25th your deduction for the entire month will be taken, and on August 1 those funds will be available, or
    • If you are purchasing your commuter card it will have been sent to you by August 1 so you can start using it .

How To Use It

There are many ways to use this account, so you can choose which ever way works best for you!

Commuter Program

If you are using this account to pay for your commuter costs, such as bus, train, lightrail, subway, ferry, and eligible vanpool you have many different options on how to utilize the benefit, so you can choose which works best for you!

  1. Buy you commuter pass directly through the WageWorks portal, and it will be delivered directly to your home address (so make sure your address is correct!)
  2. Have your payroll deductions loaded onto a WageWorks Works Benefit Card that you can use as a debit card to pay for your costs
  3. Set money aside in the account and use the “pay yourself back feature” – this will be process for those employees using the vanpool

Parking Program

Do you need to pay for work-related parking expenses from a non-WSU parking provider? Again, there are many different options for you:

  1. Pay your parking provider directly through the WageWorks portal – many parking providers, garages and lots, accept payment directly from WageWorks just use the portal to find your provider and send them the payment directly.
  2. Have your payroll deductions loaded onto a WageWorks Works Benefit Card that you can use as a debit card to pay for you costs.
  3. Set money aside in the account and use the “pay yourself back feature.”

IRS Pre-Tax Deduction Limitations

The current pre-tax deduction limit for these plans is $260 per month for commuter transit benefits and $260 per month for parking benefits. If $260 does not cover your monthly costs you can also elect to contribute on a post-tax basis. WSU is offering this benefit as well for the convenience of our employees. So, if your parking garage costs $305 per month, you can elect to have $260 taken pre-tax and $45 taken post-tax so that you can pay your non-WSU parking provider through WageWorks’ convenient portal.

For additional information please contact Human Resource Services. Email or call (509) 335-4521.

For a preview of how the transit plans work, take a minute to watch the following video or check out the WageWorks website to learn more.

Additional Parking and Transit Resources

Please review the resources below to verify that you are not already able to purchase your parking pass on a pre-tax basis directly from your WSU Transportation or Parking office or that you are not already able to ride your local transit at no charge with your WSU Faculty/Staff ID.