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Commute Programs

​Commute Programs

For bargaining units with an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), if the MOU contains commute program language that is in conflict with these policies, the MOU language shall be controlling.

The Commute Programs provide bicycle, transit and vanpool incentives to all eligible state employees.  The goal of the Commute Programs is to reduce the number of vehicles on the road by encouraging employees to explore and use alternate means of transportation to commute to and from work. Fewer vehicles on the road means an improvement in air quality and less traffic congestion.

The state, as the employer, may establish and implement procedures and eligibility criteria for the administration of the benefits in the Commute Programs, including required receipts and certification of expenses.  If you have specific questions about the Commute Programs, please contact your department for assistance.

Bicycle Commuter Program

Effective May 1, 2018, any active state employee whose salary is paid directly by the State of California is eligible to participate in this program. Employee participation in the program is voluntary.

The Bicycle Commuter Program (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 promotes health and wellness and sustainable commuting practices by encouraging employees to use bicycles as their primary means of commuting. 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.

HR Manual section 1425 – Bicycle Commuter Program provides additional information about the Program, including the FAQs, forms, and an overview of the eligibility requirements and the claim submission process.

Mass Transit and Vanpool Commute Program

California Code of Regulations section 599.936 (Transit and Vanpool Incentives – Excluded Employees) provides mass transit and vanpool commute language for excluded employees. The MOUs provide mass transit and vanpool commute language for represented employees.

Mass Transit

Employees working in areas served by mass transit, including rail, bus, or other commercial transportation licensed for public conveyance shall be eligible for a seventy-five percent (75%) discount on public transit passes sold by state agencies up to a maximum of sixty-five dollars ($65) per month. Employees who purchase public transit passes on their own shall be eligible for a seventy-five percent (75%) reimbursement up to a maximum of sixty-five dollars ($65) per month. 


A vanpool is defined as a group of seven (7) or more people who commute together in a vehicle (state or non-state) specifically designed to carry an appropriate number of passengers.  Employees riding in vanpools shall be eligible for a seventy-five percent (75%) reimbursement of the monthly fee up to a maximum of sixty-five dollars ($65) per month. In lieu of the vanpool rider reimbursement, the state shall provide one hundred dollars ($100) per month to each state employee who is the primary vanpool driver, meets the eligibility criteria, and complies with program procedures as developed by the state for primary vanpool drivers.

Employees Headquartered Out-of-State

Employees headquartered out-of-state shall receive reimbursement for qualified public transportation and vanpool expenses for seventy-five percent (75%) of the cost up to a maximum of sixty-five dollars ($65) per month or in the case of the primary vanpool driver, the one hundred dollars ($100) per month rate. 


  Updated: 7/23/2018
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