In recognition of the challenges posed by the rising cost of living in Austin and the surrounding areas and its impact on the financial well-being of some employees, the University has established an annual Commuter Subsidy program for eligible employees.
Colleges, schools, and units (CSUs) identify eligible employees in their areas to receive a subsidy of $200 in the November paychecks.
Why is the university implementing this program?
The University recognized the rise of the cost of living in Austin and the surrounding areas and its impact on our employees’ financial well-being. The University is committed to looking for ways to proactively address affordability challenges in our quest to be a top employer in higher education.
How is this program funded?
This program is centrally funded by the University.
Who is eligible for this program?
Fulltime staff and faculty who work in-person three or more days per week and who have an annualized salary of $60,000 or less as of Oct. 1, 2023. Student employees, UTemps, inactive faculty, and variable or sporadic workers are not eligible. Fully remote staff and faculty are not eligible.
Are employees of auxiliary units or employees paid from grants eligible?
Yes, employees who work for auxiliary units and employees paid from grants are eligible as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
How will I know if I am eligible?
You will be notified via email prior to Nov. 1 when Commuter Subsidies will be distributed to eligible employees. Any questions about eligibility should be directed to your local college, school, or unit Human Resources professional.
How was eligibility criteria determined?
University leadership reviewed ways to maximize available funds for employees this year. While the subsidy would cover the full cost of an A Lot parking permit or 30% of a garage permit, we recognize that employees have differing needs and challenges when it comes to commuting to work. Therefore, eligible employees may use the subsidy to defray any costs associated with their commute. Eligibility criteria may change year over year and the program is subject to budget considerations.
When will the commuter subsidy be distributed to eligible staff and faculty?
Eligible staff and faculty will see their Commuter Subsidy as part of their Nov. 1, 2023 paycheck.
Are payments subject to taxes?
Yes, payments are subject to applicable payroll taxes and deductions.
Are there any restrictions on how eligible staff and faculty spend their commuter subsidy?
Eligible staff and faculty may use their Commuter Subsidy to defray any costs associated with commuting to and from in-person work locations. Eligible staff and faculty will determine how best to use their Commuter Subsidy.
What existing parking or commuter options exist that employees should be aware of?
The University of Texas at Austin strongly supports efforts to reduce congestion and curb vehicle pollution in the Austin area. The University has established several sustainable transportation options that seek to reduce the use of single-occupancy vehicles: buses, carpooling, carsharing, bicycling, and flexible parking. UT faculty, staff, and students get fare-free access to all CapMetro’s 70+ routes throughout the city including the UT shuttles with their UT ID cards. At UT, it only takes two to join a carpool, and those that register their carpool get an array of benefits: reserved parking spaces, reduced permit fees, free garage parking, and enrollment in the Guaranteed Ride Home program, providing Lyft ride homes in the event of an emergency. Teaming up with Zipcar, UT has placed a variety of cars throughout campus that members can rent by the hour or by the day. Gas, insurance, and maintenance are included. For those that bike to campus, UT provides free registration to increase the chance of bike recovery if stolen or impounded. Seven MetroBike stations and free bike Fixit Stations are available throughout campus for bike rentals and repairs. UT also supports those on a hybrid schedule who only come to campus occasionally by offering discounted garage parking through the Occasional Parking and Parking Perks programs.
Who should I contact if I think I am eligible but was not provided a commuter subsidy?
Due to how Flexible Work Arrangements are created and stored at the University, eligible staff and faculty are identified by their college, school, and unit (CSU) Human Resources professionals. Questions about individual eligibility should be directed to CSU Human Resources professionals.
When can eligible staff and faculty expect to receive their commuter subsidy on an annual basis?
The program is expected to continue annually with eligible employees receiving their Commuter Subsidy in the November time frame. Eligibility criteria may change year over year and the program is subject to budget considerations.