Not Too Late to Keep Your Resolutions
How are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? If yours included exercising regularly, saving money, or balancing work and family life, rethinking your commute may be the easiest way to keep your resolutions.Commute.org thinks the answer to keeping your resolutions can be found by adopting a smarter commute. Here’s why:
Saving Money: Switching from driving alone to public transit, ridesharing, biking or walking can have an immediate impact on your budget. According to the American Public Transportation Association, Bay Area residents who ride public transit can save on average around $900 a month, which adds up to more than $10,800 a year. Simply taking Caltrain, BART or SamTrans a couple of times a week can greatly reduce the amount of money you spend on gas, parking, and vehicle maintenance. And, you get the added bonus of time to nap, read or catch up email while someone else does the driving.
Exercising Regularly: Choosing to walk or bicycle to work or school can integrate exercise into your daily life without requiring a gym membership. The buses, trains and last mile shuttles (visit the Commute.org web site for more information on shuttles) all accommodate bicycles so it is easier than ever to include bicycling into your daily commute. Just by walking 10 minutes to or from a transit station makes it easier to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day.
Spending More Time with Family: Telecommuting and flex scheduling are great ways to achieve a better balance between work and family. Eliminating your commute once a week not only gives you more time with your family and friends but also eases the commute for everyone else. More and more businesses in San Mateo County are adopting flexible scheduling to help their employees balance their lives and reduce their stress.
The financial, health and life balance benefits make smarter commuting the perfect choice for a New Year’s resolution. Whether the goal is to get in shape, balance your budget, or spend more time with family, the team at Commute.org believes that you can achieve it and is happy to assist you in your efforts. Visit Commute.org for more information.
Congress Passes Tax Extension Legislation
Congress Passes Tax Extension Legislation
Legislation Includes Provision to Retroactively Extend Parity for 2014 - No Impact on 2015
The 113th Congress closed on December 16, 2014, but not before the Senate cleared legislation that extends more than fifty tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The action Congress has taken retroactively extends these provisions for 2014, but does not extend them into 2015. Included in this legislation is a provision that retroactively extends the transit benefit for 2014. As a result, the transit/vanpool benefit for 2014 will retroactively increase from $130/month to $250/month.
The provision will have little impact on commuters, as employees are only able to take advantage of the provision if their employer withheld above the monthly caps. ACT member and transit benefit provider Edenred has provided a primer that explains retroactive transit benefits (PDF).
"ACT is disappointed that Congress was unable to come to an agreement that would provide certainty for millions of commuters," said ACT Executive Director Mark Wright. "Retroactive action does nothing to promote transportation options and provides confusion and administrative headaches. However, we appreciate the efforts made at the end of the 113th Congress and are encouraged by the bipartisan action and support that has been taken to date. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and hope to find a solution early in the new Congress."
Safe Bicycling Handbook
New Edition of Safe Bicycling in San Mateo County Now Available
The 36-page booklet provides bicyclists “above 12 years of age” tips on riding safely and bicycling to transit, options for bicycle parking and storage, and more. The revised edition offers information on new laws and bicyclist’s responsibilities, current road etiquette, and important websites including DMV, local transit agencies and bike organizations. New safety tips include the basics on CPSC-rated bike helmets, locking skewers (preferred over cable locks), and being visible (not “invisible”) day or night. Several how-to instructions in the new bike booklet advise today’s bicyclists of safer ways to deal with various difficult situations and road hazards, ranging from buses, long trucks and wind blast to dogs, rocks and pedestrians.
To access the revised Safe Bicycling in San Mateo County booklet online, click here. To receive a copy of the newly-published edition by mail, please email your name and mailing address to: alliance"AT"commute.org or call Commute.org at (650) 588-8170.