Tax Treatment of Employer Commuting Support: An International Review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, ridership - commuting, ridership - commuting, policy - congestion, economics - pricing, mode - mass transit


Work trips, Value pricing (Road pricing), United States, United Kingdom, Travellers, Travelers, Transit, Traffic congestion, Taxes, Switzerland, Road pricing, Regulatory policy, Public transit, Pollutants, Policy, Policies, Norway, Netherlands, Mass transit, Local transit, Journey to work, Ireland, Highway users, Gridlock (Traffic), Great Britain, Government policy, Germany, Funding, Financing, Emissions, Costs, Commuting


Correctly pricing transport behaviour to take account of the 'external' costs such as congestion and emissions imposed on society by excessive car use has long been a tenet of effective transportation demand management. But while policy-makers have striven to increase public transport subsidies, raise petrol taxes and introduce road-user charging schemes to price the real costs of car travel properly, in most cases correcting the wider influences of the personal tax regime has begun only relatively recently. This paper is based on work undertaken for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, and the Inland Revenue of the UK government, which is currently working on addressing this very issue. In addition to reporting the British situation, the paper also uses a series of case studies to outline how this same process has been approached in the USA, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Norway, and how successful they have been thus far with respect to transportation demand management objectives. It then draws conclusions about which direction policy-makers should be aiming for in the future.