Transit Expense Information


There are two Transit Expense Accounts (TEAs): one for parking expenses and one for bus pass, van.pool, and light rail expenses. Remember, these accounts allow you to pay for certain transit expenses that are not already paid through your PDA. You participate in the accounts by enrolling during Open Enrollment.   For mid-year enrollment or if you choose a monthly election, complete a Transit Expense Enrollment Form located on 121 Benefits' website ( Once you are enrolled and have contributed to the account, you can be reimbursed for eligible expenses. You must enroll each year during Open Enrollment for each plan year in which you wish to participate.

When you enroll in these accounts, you can choose an annual election or a monthly election. The funds you direct to the TEAs will be set aside before taxes and will be deducted in equal amounts out of the first two paychecks of each month for the period specified by you. There is a minimum annual enrollment amount of $50 for both the TEA-Parking and the TEA-Bus passNanpool.

If you have regular out-of-pocket parking expenses in addition to those deducted from your paycheck through the PDA, and if you don't anticipate falling off payroll during the year, choose the annual election option and estimate your yearly expenses. The 2019 limit for the TEA-Parking is $265 per month, ($3,180 per year) combined with amounts deducted through your PDA-Parking. The combined amount may not exceed the monthly limit for any given month.* For example:

Bernard conducts training sessions that require him to pay $40 per month for public parking. This amount is in addition to $35 per month that is deducted from his paycheck through the Parking Deduction Account (PDA):

TEA-Parking     $40 x 12 months =    $480
PDA                  $35 x 12 months =    $420
Combined Yearly Total                       $900
Combined Monthly Total $40 + $35 = $75*
Annual Election Amount                 $480

How are expenses paid through the TEA?

When you incur an eligible parking or vanpool expense and submit the claim to 121 Benefits, you will be reimbursed from your account. The plan will pay the lesser of:

  • The amount of the expense paid or incurred that you are submitting, or The total amount you have contributed to your parking or vanpool to date, reduced by any previous claims paid from the account during the plan year.

How am I reimbursed for my bus pass or light rail expenses?

  • The IRS has changed the regulations regarding how mass transit commuter expenses can be reimbursed through the BVEA. The only method of reimbursement will be by using the debit card to pay the transit vendor directly. Reimbursement requests by paper, online, or mobile app will not be processed for commuter mass transit expenses.
  • The debit card (either the Benny Card or the new 121 Benefits debit card) is a VISA card that will be loaded with your Bus PassNanpool Expense Account (BVEA) contributions after each paycheck.
  • To use the debit card for bus pass or light rail expenses, you present the card as your method of payment at the transit station or transit service center, or use it online at the transit provider's website, or transit provider's mobile app.  If asked at the point of the transaction whether to process your transaction as a debit or credit, respond "credit."
  • You will not need to provide documentation for bus and light rail purchases following the use of the debit card for these purchases.

Can I still submit bus pass or light rail expenses using a paper reimbursement form, or submit online?

Bus Pass or Light Rail expenses must be purchased using the debit card. Reimbursement requests by paper, online, or mobile app will not be processed for commuter mass transit expenses.

Can I use the debit card for vanpool expenses?

Your vanpool expenses will not be paid using the debit card and will need to be submitted for reimbursement as in the past.

What if both spouses are employed by the State and they both incur transit expenses?

Each employee must enroll in his or her own TEA.  One employee cannot submit transit expenses for his/her spouse.

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Article ID: 132957
Tue 5/4/21 12:16 PM
Tue 7/6/21 9:15 AM

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