Results for category "Keys To Your Commute"

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Earn Toll Credits for Taking Xpress!

Every single time you commute on an Xpress coach, you’re doing more than letting someone else do the driving: you’re helping relieve traffic congestion throughout the metro-Atlanta region. That’s a big deal–every year, we save the region more than $125 million in congestion-related costs.

We want to thank our customers for the important role they’re playing in moving Atlanta forward, and we also want to help you get more value from riding Xpress. We teamed up with the State Road and Tollway Authority and Gwinnett County Transit to create a new pilot program for our commuters who ride Xpress and/or GCT and also use I-85 Express Lanes. We hope this program will help reward commuters who take transit more frequently–so that on a day when they do have to drive themselves to work, it’s a little less painful on their time and wallets.

The Ride Transit – Earn Toll Credits Program allows I-85 Express Lane commuters the opportunity to earn toll credits when they take Xpress and GCT express. Program participants can earn a toll credit of $2 per trip, up to $10 per month (a maximum of $60 over the six-month period). This pilot program will be offered for the next six months, and your participation and feedback will help us assess what kind of long-term commute credits program could be most beneficial for our riders.

To participate in the program, you must have a Peach Pass tied to a personal toll account and an Xpress Pass or a MARTA Breeze Card.

Eligible Xpress routes:

  • 410 Sugarloaf Mills to Lindbergh MARTA Station
  • 411 Hamilton Mill/Mall of Georgia to Midtown
  • 412 Sugarloaf Mills to Midtown
  • 413 Hamilton Mill to Downtown Atlanta
  • 416 Dacula to Downtown Atlanta

Eligible Gwinnett County Transit routes:

  • GCT 101 I-985/SR 20 Park and Ride to Downtown Atlanta
  • GCT 102 I-85 Indian Trial Park and Ride to Downtown Atlanta
  • GCT 103 I-85/Sugarloaf Mills Park and Ride to downtown Atlanta (Zone 2)

To learn more about the how you can participate in the Ride Transit – Earn Toll Credits Program visit: http://www.peachpass.com/transit-toll-credits

Interested in saving 30% or more on your Xpress pass?

Did you know that many Xpress riders are receiving discounts of 30% or more on their Xpress passes? If you use Xpress to get to work, you can too! Just like other fringe benefits facilitated by your employer, your transit passes are eligible to be purchased using pre-tax dollars.

Many of us are familiar with having fringe benefits like a Health Savings Account or group life insurance deducted from our paychecks every month. For 2015, the IRS has announced that up to $130 of your monthly transit passes can now be deducted in the same way.

 

So how does it work?

In most cases, your employer administratively sets up the deduction just as they would any other fringe benefit. Then, each month the cost of your transit pass (up to $130) would be deducted from your gross pay before taxes are taken out. Since your employer is withholding the cost of your transit pass from your take-home pay, your employer is responsible for purchasing your pass for you.

Your employer could purchase your pass in a couple of ways.

  1. Purchase directly from the transit provider. Xpress passes are available for sale in our online store. Marta, CCT and GCT passes would have to be purchased though their respective agencies.
  2. Purchase all passes through your local Transportation Management Association (TMA). Many of metro-Atlanta’s TMAs offer one-stop transit pass shopping for companies located in within their geographic boundaries. Find your TMA here.

 

How much could you save?

How much you save depends on a couple of variables; the first of which is how much you spend a month on transit passes. Here are the fares for all Xpress routes:

Xpress fare chart

The second variable is your income tax rate which varies by your income (if you aren’t sure, 25% may be a good estimate). If you’d like to check your rate, Bankrate.com provides an easy chart or the official IRS charts can be viewed here.

In addition to your income tax, you’ll also save on FICA payroll taxes. FICA payroll taxes are 7.65% of your taxable income.

Here is the formula to calculate your potential savings:

Cost of Pass * (Income Tax Rate + .0765) = Monthly Savings

For example, if you were to purchase a 31-Day Blue Zone Xpress pass valued at $125 and you had an income tax rate of 25% and 7.65% in FICA payroll taxes, your monthly savings would be $40.81!

$125 * (.25+.0765) = $40.81

 

Not sure if your employer will set up this benefit for you?

Remind them that it helps their bottom line too! Since your transit passes are coming out of your gross income and aren’t taxable, your employer doesn’t pay payroll taxes on your deduction. If they need more information, send them to the Employers section of the Xpress blog, and let them know they can always contact us directly for additional help.

Want to learn more? Consult with your accountant and check out these official sources:

 

Introducing the online trip planner

We hear from our riders all the time that the hardest thing about commuting with Xpress is getting started.

The next hardest thing is changing your commute to accommodate new work hours, a new work location, or a new home.

That’s why we’re introducing our new trip planning tool. We hope it will help make planning your new commute a little bit easier. Check it out on the XpressGa.com home page. The trip planner harnesses the power of Google Maps to show you all the Xpress routes and trip times available for your journey. Plus, you’ll be able to see how to connect to other transit providers, including MARTA.

Have a question about using the trip planner? Read through our FAQs, or leave us a comment below.

Winter Weather Alerts: How to Prepare

As temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, it’s a good time to ensure you’ve signed up to receive alerts about possible impacts to Xpress service. Weather and road conditions can change rapidly, sometimes within minutes, and our goal is to get you critical information as quickly as possible.

Here are the kinds of alerts you can expect, and when:

  • We Tweet changes, cancelations, and delays to individual routes as soon as we receive the information. If you’re wondering about the location of your specific bus, check the Twitter feed first–it’s the first place we post information. If you have a Twitter account, follow @XpressGA to get service notifications pushed to your smartphone. Don’t have a Twitter account? That’s okay! You can still view our Tweets by visiting http://twitter.com/XpressGA, or checking the Twitter feed on the right-hand side of the XpressGA.com homepage.
  • We also send out more detailed information via email. It takes longer to send this information out, so the most time-sensitive information will hit the Twitter feed first. However, if you provide us with your route information, we’re able to send you customized alerts tailored to your specific commute. Subscribe to our emails here.

 

Please check the Twitter feed and your email before beginning your commute, especially in the mornings, and we hope you stay safe and warm this winter season.

New regional trip planner is ready to use!

This month, we are proud to unveil a new website designed to make it easier for riders to navigate the various transit offerings in metro Atlanta: ATLtransit.org.

 ATLtransit.org is a joint project of the four major transit operators in metro Atlanta–GRTA, MARTA, CCT and GCT–who have been working together, in collaboration with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), since January 2014 to develop a unified regional transit website.  

The goal of  ATLtransit.org is to provide users of transit in metro Atlanta a way to plan and pay for transit trips that involve riding on one or more of the region’s transit systems. The most prominent feature of ATLtransit.org is a regional trip planner, which allows a traveler to enter an origin and a destination anywhere in metro Atlanta and get a personalized plan for making that trip on transit, including trips that involve using more than one operator. 

This pilot project is a first step, designed to allow us and our transit partners to gather feedback from the public about what information and resources are most useful to current and potential riders. We’re excited to offer this tool, and hope it can become a valuable first step in making commuters’ trip planning easier and more efficient. 

 

ATLtransit Website Screenshot

 

Check it out and tell us what you think!

July Challenge: What would you do with $1,900?

Our riders frequently tell us they appreciate the convenience of not having to drive in rush hour traffic, or the ability to use their commute time to get more work done or simply relax. On top of all those intangible, priceless benefits of riding Xpress, however, we have about 1,900 other reasons for loving your commutes:

Xpress riders save an average of more than $1,900 per year on fuel costs.

That’s huge.

So we want to know: at the end of the year, if someone handed you $1,900 extra dollars, what would you spend it on?

Plus, just by leaving a comment below, you’ll automatically be entered to win one of our miniature toy buses (check out June’s challenge here). And as an extra bonus, these buses are also coin banks, perfect for storing up all those precious coins Xpress helps you save.