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NYS-Ride

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NYS-Ride
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Program Information

NYS-Ride (pronounced NICE Ride) is a pre-tax benefit that helps NYS employees save money on public transportation costs and contributes to a greener environment. This program is sponsored by GOER and administered by WageWorks/HealthEquity.

You can use your commuter benefit to pay for a variety of public transit costs with pre-tax dollars. It’s like a discount on your eligible commuter expenses.

When you enroll, simply choose your fare and agree to payroll deductions. Your order will be sent directly to you.

Changing Your Order

You can change your order by logging into your account. Changes or cancellations must be made online by 11:59 p.m. EST by the first of the month, two months before the benefit month. For example, if you want to change or cancel your order for the July commuting month, you must do so by May 1.

You can also submit a change or cancellation by calling WageWorks/HealthEquity Customer Service at (866) 428-7781 (TDD at (866) 353-8058). Customer service is available Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST.

Pre-Tax Monthly Limits

The current pre-tax monthly limit is $270. If your monthly commuting costs are more than the $270, the balance of your commuting costs will be purchased with post-tax payroll deductions.

Eligibility

The NYS-Ride program is available to employees of the:

  • Executive Branch
  • Unified Court System
  • Legislature

If you are a part-time employee, you are eligible as long as your paycheck can support your deduction. For a complete eligibility list by negotiating unit, please click here

New employees are eligible to enroll immediately, you just need your Employee ID, Department ID, and Negotiating Unit. After two consecutive payroll deductions, your commuter pass will be ordered.

Eligible Expenses

NYS-Ride Eligible Commuter Costs:

  • Bus
  • Ferry
  • Subway
  • Vanpool
  • Train
  • Water taxi
  • Carpool options from most Ride Share Services
    • UberPool
    • Lyft Line
    • Via

Public Transportation (Mass Transit)

Below is a partial list of popular transit providers in New York State:

Broome County Transit MTA Long Island Rail Road
Brown Coach MTA Metro-North Railroad
Buffalo Metro NJ Transit Bus
CDTA NJ Transit Rail
CNY Centro NJ Transit Light Rail
Community Coach NY Waterway Ferries
Lake Champlain Ferry PATH Train
MetroCard Shortline (CoachUSA)

 

Ineligible Costs

The following are not NYS-Ride eligible:

  • Parking
  • Bicycles
  • Taxis
  • Personal car, personal van, or casual carpool
  • Tolls
  • E-Z Pass
  • Parking meters
  • Traffic tickets
  • Mileage

Commuter Card

The Commuter Card is a debit card that you use to make purchases at participating ticket vending machines. Choose the amount of money to pre-load on the card each month and use it to buy different fare options depending on your commute. Any unused balance remains on the card for future use.

Enroll Here

Follow these instructions to enroll in NYS-Ride and make your order.

  • Click First Time User? Register Now below. Fill out the required information.
    1. Employee ID (9-digit alpha-numeric code shown on your pay stub)
    2. Department ID (5-digit code, as shown on your pay stub)
    3. Negotiating Unit (2-digit code, as shown on your pay stub)
  • Create a username and password and confirm that your contact information is complete
  • Read the User Agreement and confirm your acceptance
  • From the Commuter Overview page, select Place Commuter Order
  • Select the Public Transportation or Vanpool options, choose your providers, and place your orders
  • Confirm and submit your order.

WageWorks/HealthEquity Customer Service can help with your order or answer questions Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. EST, call (866) 428-7781 toll-free or TDD at (866) 353-8058 or email [email protected].

 

Enroll here

Access your account

Make, change, or cancel orders. Manage your account information.

 

Account Login

Frequently Asked Questions

How is my W-2 affected?

The wages reported on your W-2 form are reduced by the total of your NYS-Ride orders. No other forms are required.

 

What is the deadline for making purchases or changes?

You must place your order by the first of the month, two months before the commuting month. If you wish to make, change, or cancel your order, you must do so online by 11:59 p.m. EST by the first of the month or by phone by 8 p.m. EST on the weekday on or before the first of the month. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. EST, except holidays. 

If you want to participate/cancel for the commuting month of.... Your election deadline is 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time (ET) on...
January November 1
February December 1
March January 1
April February 1
May March 1
June April 1
July May 1
August June 1
September July 1
October August 1
November September 1
December October 1

 

Can I sign up to get my transit pass or vanpool voucher purchase automatically without re-ordering my pass every month?

Yes. Selecting “Every Month” as the frequency when you make your first purchase and you will automatically receive your mass transit fare media, vanpool voucher, or pass every month until you make a change or miss a payroll deduction.

 

What if I miss the deadline? 

If you make, change, or cancel your order online after 11:59 p.m. EST on the first of the month, it will be considered an order for the next deadline. For example, if you order a pass on August 2, your order will become effective for the transit pass you will receive for November.

 

Why can't I make changes after the deadline? 

IRS regulations require that orders be made on a prospective basis. Changes or cancellations must be made by the first of the month.

 
What if my commute or commuting costs change? 

You can change your participation any time up to the monthly enrollment deadline. For example, if you move, transfer to another work location, or your commuter costs change, you may adjust your order.

 
What happens in a three-pay-period month? 

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) takes two equal deductions from your biweekly paycheck to cover the cost of your transit pass. In three-pay-period months, OSC will not take a deduction from the third paycheck.

 
What if I go on leave without pay or miss a payroll deduction? 

If you miss a deduction for any reason, your NYS-Ride orders will be canceled. When you return to the payroll, you can re-enroll online or by calling customer service. 

 
Who should I contact if I have further questions about NYS-Ride?

For more information on how NYS-Ride works, contact WageWorks/HealthEquity directly. You can call toll free to (866) 428-7781. Employees who are hearing impaired may contact WageWorks/HealthEquity Customer Service through TDD at (866) 353-8058. You also can send an email to [email protected] 

 
What if I resign, retire, or leave state service?

If you resign, retire, or leave state service, you will not be eligible to take part in the NYS-Ride program.
 

Commuter Card

 

What is the WageWorks/HealthEquity Commuter Card? 

The Commuter Card is a debit card that you use to make purchases at participating ticket vending machines. Choose the amount of money to pre-load on the card each month and use it to buy different fare options depending on your commute. Any unused balance remains on the card for future use.
 

How is money loaded on to the Commuter Card? When is the money loaded on to the Commuter Card?

The Commuter Card is funded by payroll deduction. The card is funded on the 20th of the month prior to the benefit month. Any unused funds will remain available for future use and roll over from month to month. The card cannot be transferred between employees or employers and has a maximum balance limit of $2,500.

 

Where can I use the Commuter Card? 

You can use the Commuter Card to buy tickets at ticket vending machines of many transit providers throughout the state. Providers include MTA, NJ Transit, NY WaterWay, CDTA, Adirondack Trailways, Niagara Frontier, and Amtrak. A full list of service providers is available here or by calling Customer Service at (866)-428-7781, TDD (866)-358-8058.

 

What happens if my Commuter Card is lost or damaged? 

If your Commuter Card is damaged or lost and you buy a pass out-of-pocket, you will be reimbursed up to the available balance on the card. The MTA has a Balance Protection Program for customers who buy their 30-day MetroCard with the Commuter Card. If you lose your 30-day MetroCard, the MTA can deactivate the card and refund a pro-rated amount of your unused card back to your Commuter Card that you can use to buy a new MetroCard. See https://new.mta.info/ for more details about the MTA’s Balance Protection Program.   

 

What if my Commuter Card account balance doesn't cover the cost of a transaction?

If your account balance is less than the transaction amount, the transaction will be declined. You will need to use another form of payment to complete this transaction. 

 

What happens to my Commuter Card balance if my commuting pattern changes or I go on vacation?

With the Commuter Card you can purchase different fare options depending on your commute. Any balance you don't use in a month stays on the card for use in a future month. 

 
What happens to my Commuter Card if I leave state service?

If you leave state service, you have 90 days to spend the balance on your Commuter Card. WageWorks/HealthEquity will send you an email notifying you of the 90-day period. Once the Commuter Card becomes inactive, any remaining funds will be removed from the Card and the pre-tax funds will be given back to New York State. If you have any remaining post-tax funds, they will be returned to you.

 
Can I use my Commuter Card for purchases other than transportation?

No, the Commuter Card can only be used to pay for commuter costs. If the card is used at an unapproved merchant, the transaction will be declined.

 
How do I switch my current order to the Commuter Card? 

Log into your account or call WageWorks/HealthEquity Customer Service at (866) 428-7781. Employees who are hearing impaired may contact WageWorks/HealthEquity Customer Service through TDD at (866) 353-8058

 
What are the benefits of using the Commuter Card?

It makes buying monthly transit passes quick, easy, and convenient.  The commuter card allows you to easily change or pause monthly contributions to your card. Be sure to log into your NYS-Ride account and make changes before the order/cancellation deadlines.

Use the card to pay for any qualified public transit expenses—just swipe and go.

For MTA commuters: if you use your Commuter Card to purchase a 30-Day Unlimited Ride or 7-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCard it will be covered by the MetroCard Balance Protection Program. See https://new.mta.info/fares/subway-and-bus/balance-protection-program for more details. 

 

Public Transportation and Vanpool Vouchers or Passes

 
How and when do I receive my public transportation fare media, such as bus, subway, or rail passes, fare cards, or vanpool vouchers or passes?

Your fare media or vanpool vouchers or passes will be sent directly to the address you provided and will arrive before the end of each month. You do not pay postage or handling fees. 

 
What if I don't receive my fare media or vanpool vouchers or passes?

Contact WageWorks/HealthEquity at (866) 428-7781 or TDD at (866) 353-8058. You must contact customer service to report the missing order within the first three business days of the month. 

 
What if my fare media or vanpool vouchers or passes arrive but then are misplaced or lost?

Lost fare media or vanpool vouchers or passes cannot be replaced. You will need to buy replacements on your own, on a post-tax basis. Commuter Cards are replaceable at any time if they are lost or stolen.

 

Other Questions

 
Will my participation in NYS-Ride affect my employee benefits?

Depending on your income, you may receive a slightly lower Social Security benefit at retirement because of your NYS-Ride pre-tax contributions. NYS-Ride orders reduce the earnings reported to the Social Security Administration. Therefore, the NYS-Ride reduction of social security taxes could slightly reduce Social Security benefits for people below the Social Security wage maximum. 

NYS-Ride orders do not reduce contributions or benefits under your retirement plan, life insurance, or Medicare.

 
Can I make commuter purchases if I retire, resign, or end my employment with the State? 

NYS-Ride is a commute-to-work program. If you retire, resign, or end your employment with the State, you cannot make an order and no further purchases will be processed for you. Any mass transit fare media, vanpool vouchers, or passes you already bought before you left state employment will be supplied as scheduled, but you cannot receive a refund for any purchase that you are unable to use. Additionally, refunds cannot be issued for any unused pre-tax deductions after you leave state service.

Download or Request Materials

Email [email protected] to requested printed copies.

Contact FSA NYS Ride

Contact us by email:
Mailing Address:

2 Empire State Plaza, 11th Floor
Albany, NY 12223