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Shops May Begin to See Vouchers Soon

Published March 1, 2009

BERKELEY, CA (BRAIN)—Qualified transportation fringe benefits has expanded to allow up to $20 per month for bicycle commuters to spend on everything from new or used bicycles, to accessories such as lights and helmets to the monthly cost of a bicycle storage unit. Now, one company is making it easier for employers to administer the program.

Commuter Check Services is unveiling a bicycle voucher on March 10 that makes the program simple for employers to administer. The vouchers are part of the same program that has provided transit and parking vouchers for more than 18 years to over 10,000 employers nationwide.

Bike shops and parking/storage providers can accept the vouchers for no additional cost. The vouchers are bank checks drawn on Bank of America and include safety features such as a watermark and hologram. They can deposit them into their business checking account along with other checks. Per IRS rules, the voucher must display the words “Commuter Check for Bicycling” for shops to accept them.

“There are about 10,000 employers that participate in Commuter Check. They’ll have the opportunity to buy bicycle vouchers. Our hope is that bike shops are made aware of the benefit and existence of the bike voucher,” said Stuart Baker, who’s managing the rollout for benefits and coordinating with bike shops.

Commuter Check Services offers laminated instructions for accepting the vouchers as well as decals to show bike shops accept them. “If the pretax program is done for an employee, over a year’s time they save about $100 in taxes. The employer per employee would save about $10 in payroll taxes. It’s not big amounts of money, but it’s better than nothing,” Baker said.

For more information, contact Baker at or call (510) 649-1061.

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