Central New York Regional Transportation Authority

Commuter Choice Programs at Four Upstate Public Transportation Authorities (Follow-Up Review)

In Commuter Choice Programs, employers may deduct from their taxes the cost of fringe benefits that promote the use of mass transit by their employees (e.g., deductions may be taken for the cost of transit passes provided to employees at no charge). In our initial audit report 2000-S-30, we examined the effectiveness of Commuter Choice Programs at four upstate public transportation authorities: the Capital District Transportation Authority, the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.

We found that none of the Authorities had taken actions that would enable the effectiveness of Commuter Choice Programs to be assessed, as none had set ridership goals for the Programs and none had developed methods for measuring increases in ridership resulting from the Programs. We recommended that such actions be taken. We also recommended that Commuter Choice Programs be marketed more effectively by the Authorities, as many of the employers contacted by us in the Authorities’ ridership areas were not aware of the Programs. In our follow-up review, we found that progress had been made in addressing the problems identified in our initial report, especially at the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

For a complete copy of Report 2004-F-19 click here.