February 25, 2002

The Chicago Transit Authority announces an increase in pre-tax deductions for participants in the RTA/CTA Transit Benefit Program. As of January 1, 2002, program participants may increase their deductions from $65 to up to $100.

The RTA/CTA Transit Benefit Program was launched in July, 1999 following a change in federal tax laws. It enables employees who commute on CTA, Metra, Pace, South Shore Railroad and vanpools to purchase fares with pre-tax earnings. Participants may purchase CTA Transit Cards and/or RTA Transit Checks and have them delivered to their workplaces.

The increase in the deduction means employees can now save $200 to $465 in taxes annually by paying for transit with pre-tax dollars set aside from their paychecks. In order to better serve its customers, the CTA has added its unlimited ride $75, 30-Day Pass to the selection of passes available. Other passes are $30, $35 and $60. The $65 Transit Card is no longer available. The RTA Transit Checks can be purchased for any amount between $10 and $100.

Employers benefit as well by getting an annual payroll tax savings of approximately 10% of what their employees set aside due to decreased payroll costs. Currently 1,800 employers and 30,000 employees in the Chicagoland area are enrolled in the Transit Benefit Program.

?The Transit Benefit Program is not only beneficial to participants and their employers, but it also gives the CTA the opportunity to further develop relationships with the business community in our service area," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett.

?This program is also a way of helping our local public transit agencies recruit new customers and retain current customers," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?And it has a positive impact on the environment by encouraging the use of public transportation."

For more information on the Transit Benefit Program call 312-664-7200, extension 3069.

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