Employer-subsidized commuter tickets more popular in the capital area than company cars

Last year, there were a total of 60,000 in the HSL area. This is
clearly more than the number of company car users, which was 40,000
in the Helsinki metropolitan area.The number of users of
employer-subsidized commuter tickets has been steadily increasing
since 2008 when the number was 34,000. There are already over 1,000
employers who are offering this benefit to their employees.

HSL has actively promoted the use of employer-subsidized
commuter tickets by influencing legislation, telling about the
service and providing new, easy ways to purchase tickets (invoicing
agreements, commuter vouchers).

The popularity of employer-subsidized commuter tickets is
partly due to changes in legislation at the beginning of 2012. The
changes turned employer-subsidized commuter ticket into a
tax-exempt fringe benefit up to EUR300. Also the possibility to
load value with commuter vouchers increased the popularity of the
ticket.  Employees only pay tax on EUR300, even if the value of the
employer-subsidized commuter ticket per year was the maximum
EUR3,400. The amount of the tax-free benefit can thus be up to
EUR3,100  per person. HSL agrees on the goal set out in the
transport policy report that taxation should be further developed
to make the use of employer-subsidized commuter tickets even easier
for employers.

Increasing number of sales points accept commuter vouchers

Employer-subsidized commuter ticket is a public transport ticket
provided to an employee by the employer. The benefit can be a
season ticket paid by the employer and loaded on a personal Travel
Card. Upon concluding an invoicing agreement with HSL, the employer
gets a bonus of one month a year of free travel per employee.   

Another alternative are commuter vouchers. In this case, the
employer purchases from HSL commuter vouchers, worth EUR10, which
it then distributes to its staff. Employees can use the commuter
vouchers to pay for season tickets or value loaded on an HSL Travel
Card.

 

In 2011, HSL sold a total of 595,000 commuter
vouchers. Municipal employers are the most important users of the
service, but the share of private companies is increasing. During
five years, HSL has delivered some 2.3 million commuter vouchers to
employers.

An increasing number of sales points accept HSL’s commuter
vouchers. In addition to HSL’s service points and VR’s booking
offices, the vouchers are accepted at all R-kiosks, K-Citymarkets
and Stockmann department stores in the HSL area, as well as at the
Prisma stores in Kannelmäki and Viikki.

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