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Bicycle Commuter Program Frequently Asked Questions

​What is the Bicycle Commuter Program?

The Program is a taxable benefit administered by the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). This benefit is voluntarily provided by the State of California and encourages active state employees (employees) to consider bicycle commuting as a means of active transportation to and from their residences and places of employment. The Program supports the California Department of Transportation's "Toward an Active California State Bicycle and Pedestrian" plan to triple bicycling in the state between 2010 and 2020. CalHR administers this Program to:

  • Promote health and wellness, and sustainable commuting practices.
  • Defray some of the costs a bicycle commuter may incur.

Who can participate?

Any active state employee who meets the following eligibility criteria can participate:

  • You regularly use a bicycle for a substantial portion (at least 50 percent of the days you are scheduled to work in a calendar month) of your commute.
    • If you are an active fractional time base employee, you must commute by bicycle at least 50 percent of the days you are scheduled to work in a calendar month.
    • If you are an active intermittent employee, you must commute by bicycle at least 50 percent of the days you are scheduled to work in a calendar month.
  • The bicycle commuter benefit may be claimed by employees who combine using transit passes for a portion of their commutes with bicycling for a portion of their commutes.

Employees may change their participation in the Program on a monthly basis.

Is there a cost to participate?

No. You are not charged an administrative fee.

May I claim the bicycle commuter benefit if my commute combines bicycling with using public transit?

Yes. The bicycle commuter benefit may be claimed by employees who combine using transit passes for a portion of their commutes with bicycling for a portion of their commutes.

How often do I have to commute via bicycle in order to qualify for the bicycle commuter benefit?           

You must use a bicycle for a substantial portion (at least 50 percent of the days you are scheduled to work in a calendar month) of your commute.

Full-time Employees

If you are a full-time employee scheduled to work every work day in a calendar month, you must commute via bicycle at least 11 days in that calendar month (21 day working month and 22 day working month).
Scheduled leave days (such as vacation, annual leave, or sick leave) count as days you are scheduled to work.

Sample Scenario - Eligible Full-time Employee

  • You are on vacation for one week (5 days) in June (22 day pay period).
  • You are on vacation for 5 days and work 17 days in June.
  • You commute via bicycle during 11 of the 17 of the days you actually work.
  • You have commuted via bicycle during 11 of the 22 of your scheduled work days in June.
  • You are eligible to participate in the Program.

Sample Scenario - Ineligible Full-time Employee

  • You are on vacation for three weeks (15 days) in June (22 day pay period).
  • You are on vacation for 15 days and work 7 days in June.
  • You commute via bicycle during 4 of the 7 of the days you actually work. 
  • You have only commuted via bicycle during 4 of the 22 of your scheduled work days in June.
  • You are not eligible to participate in the Program.

Less than Full-Time Employees

If you are a less than full-time employee, you must commute via bicycle at least 50% of the days you are scheduled to work in a calendar month.

I travel often for work. I commute via bicycle on the days I am scheduled to work in the office, but I do not commute via bicycle at least 50% of the days I am scheduled to work. Am I eligible to claim the bicycle commuter benefit?

 No, you must commute via bicycle at least 50% of the days you are scheduled to work in a calendar month.

Do state holidays count as days employees are scheduled to work?

Typically, state holidays do not count as days employees are scheduled to work. However, if your worksite is not closed during a state holiday and you are scheduled to work at your worksite on that state holiday, then that state holiday would count as a day you are scheduled to work.

Do scheduled leave days (such as vacation leave or annual leave) count as days employees are scheduled to work?

Yes, scheduled leave days count as days employees are scheduled to work.

Do sick days count as days employees are scheduled to work?

Yes, sick days count as days employees are scheduled to work.

How do I participate?

Document your bicycle commute on the self-certification claim form (CalHR 873 - Bicycle Commuter Program Quarterly Self-Certification). Your signature on this form certifies that you meet the abovementioned eligibility criteria.

Is the bicycle commuter benefit taxable?            

Yes. The $20 you are eligible to claim for each calendar month you participate in the Program is taxable.

What is the maximum amount I can claim?        

If you are eligible to participate in the Program, you can receive $20 per calendar month, not to exceed $240 per calendar year. Please note this is a taxable benefit.

How do I submit a bicycle commuter benefit claim?

Follow the established process for your department.  Either submit your claim through CalATERS Global or submit a STD 262A -Travel Expense Claim Form (TEC). Your signature on CalHR 873 - Bicycle Commuter Program Quarterly Self-Certification certifies that you meet the above mentioned eligibility criteria.

Additional Instructions for Employees Submitting Claims via CalATERS

  • The self-certification claim form (CalHR 873 - Bicycle Commuter Program Quarterly Self-Certification) should be entered as a "receipt" in CalATERS.

  • As CalHR recommends submitting Bicycle Commuter claims on a quarterly basis, employees who claim this benefit in CalATERS should select the Non-Travel form and should cover a 3-month period (e.g. July 1- September 30). However, the expense information should be entered separately for each month ($20 for each individual qualifying month, with a $60 total: $20 for July 1, $20 for August 1, and $20 for September 1).

Employee Responsibilities

Submit the following documents, in accordance with your department's internal process, to your supervisor for review and/or approval:

Departmental Responsibilities

If your supervisor approves your claim, submit it to the Departmental Bicycle Commuter Program Coordinator (Departmental Program Coordinator) in your Accounting Office, or in accordance with your department's internal process. Your Departmental Program Coordinator will:

If your Departmental Program Coordinator approves your claim, he/she shall follow your department's internal process to issue your payment.

What happens if I submit a bicycle commuter benefit claim and I do not meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the Program?

Making a false claim to the State of California by knowingly presenting or knowingly causing to be presented an untrue statement to obtain payment or funds from the State of California is grounds for removal from participation in the program and could result in legal action, including, but not limited to, adverse action. If you make a false claim, you shall reimburse the state for funds you receive for your participation in this Program.

Is there a deadline for submitting bicycle commuter benefit claims?

Yes. Employees are required to submit claims by the end of the next quarter as follows:

  • January-March: Claims must be submitted by June 30
  • April-June: Claims must be submitted by September 30
  • July-September: Claims must be submitted by December 31
  • October-December: Claims must be submitted by March 31 of the following year

When will I receive my bicycle commuter claim check?

Payments Issued by SCO

For departments that process TECs via CalATERS Global, payment is issued in the same manner as your payroll (direct deposit or warrant).  Once the form is approved by the department, CalATERS Global takes five business days to issue payment.

Payments Issued by Departments

Departments may have internal processes which include issuing claim checks directly to you.

Whom do I contact to determine the status of my bicycle commuter benefit claim?

Contact your Accounting Office or your Departmental Program Coordinator.

Whom do I contact if my bicycle commuter claim check is lost or stolen?

Payments Issued by SCO

Contact your Accounting Office or your Departmental Program Coordinator. They will contact SCO CalATERS for further information.

Payments Issued by Departments

Contact your Accounting Office or your Departmental Program Coordinator.

Is there a complaint process?

Yes. You may dispute a denied claim to your department head or designee. Your department head or designee is the final approval authority for bicycle commuter benefits claims.

Is my department required to provide secure storage for my bicycle?

No. While departments are not required to provide secure storage for employee bicycles, CalHR encourages all participating departments to evaluate their facilities and budgets to see what, if any, options they may be able to provide for related amenities, including, but not limited to, secure bicycle storage. CalHR strongly encourages departments to provide all reasonably available amenities.

What happens if my bicycle is stolen from state property?

The state is not responsible or liable for the security of personal property.

If I live on-site, am I eligible to participate in the bicycle commuter program?

The bicycle commuter program is for employees who commute to work. Typically, employees who live on-site are not commuting to work.

 

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