Mass Transit:

Information on Federal Participation in Transit Benefit Programs

RCED-93-25: Published: Nov 13, 1992. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 1992.

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GAO reviewed federal agency participation in state or local programs that encourage employees to use public transportation, focusing on: (1) factors which contribute to employee participation rates; (2) the management, implementation, and costs of federal agency and employee participation in state or local programs; and (3) whether legislation has been successful in encouraging public transportation use.

GAO found that: (1) 53 executive, legislative, and independent agencies and organizations provided employee transit benefits to 13,900 employees in the Washington, D.C. area; (2) federal agencies that participated in state and local transit benefit programs absorbed program costs into their existing budgets; (3) agencies funded transit benefit programs from employee benefit, compensation, and travel accounts; (4) the provision of transit benefits enhanced employee recruitment, morale, and retention at a reasonable cost to the government; (5) agencies that declined program participation cited an inability to absorb the costs within their current budgets; (7) employees who earned less than $22,300 a year were four times as likely as employees who earned $90,000 or more to participate in transit benefit programs; (7) federal agency participation costs totalled $3.5 million; (8) reasons for increased program costs included additional agency participation, increased employee participation, and higher benefit levels; (9) most agencies developed internal controls for transit programs; and (10) factors affecting employee use of public transportation included accessibility to transit systems, availability of transit benefits, cost and availability of parking, working conditions, schedules, convenience, and safety.

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