Have you ever used UberPool to get to work? If you do it with pre-tax commuter benefits, you save yourself money.
Most people associate commuter benefits with public transit and parking. However, commuters can also take advantage of the pre-tax savings by using UberPool.
If you are not familiar with commuter benefits, let’s explain: you can save you up to 40 percent on your commuting costs every year. Commuter benefits are an employee benefit that allows employees to set aside money tax-free for their commuting costs. Employers save up to 7.65 percent in payroll taxes, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
UberPool matches you with riders heading in the same direction, so you can share the ride and cost. It is Uber’s most affordable service and very popular — 20% of Uber rides are UberPool where the service is available.
How UberPool works
- Businesses that use Edenred Commuter Benefit Solutions to administer commuter benefits need to offer the Commuter Check Prepaid Mastercard option for their employees.
- Next, download or access the Uber app on your mobile device and add the commuter benefit card as your payment method on UberPool.When you want to use it for your commute to work, you simply select prepaid card as your payment method and request an UberPool to pick you up.
- From there, Uber works as it usually does except you get matched with a vehicle that has 6 or more seats. One thing to keep in mind: because you are sharing a larger vehicle with other riders, you may experience longer wait times than a regular UberX ride. If you would like to request a private ride on UberX, you cannot use your commuter benefit.
Where you can use commuter benefits and UberPool
Currently, UberPool operates in the following cities: New York City, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and New Jersey (state).
Differences between UberPool and UberX
UberPool is going to pick up (and drop off) other riders along the way. While you may be picked up first, when you are dropped off depends on the route. However, Uber does ensure you will meet your designated arrival time
UberPool does take longer than a traditional Uber so planning in advance is important. However, UberPool is a qualified transit expense for use with your pre-tax commuter benefits while traditional Uber is not. The maximum you can place on your commuter prepaid card is $260 per month.
Are you looking for another way to get to work? UberPool may be the answer. Just remember that your employer has to offer commuter benefits before you can start saving money on your commute to work every day — no matter which mode of transportation you take. If you want commuter benefits, let your employer know!
** Please Note: Since the time this article was published, UberPool is no longer supported as pre-tax commuter benefit.
If you want to learn more about commuter benefits, download the 101 Guide below: