New Partnership Offers Mobile-First Commuters With‘Pre-Tax Parking’
August 16, 2017
WageWorks, which calls itself “the leader in consumer-directed benefits,” has partnered with SpotHero, a leading parking reservation app, to roll out a commuter parking perk that will get more motors running.
Now, any company offering WageWorks commuter benefits can encourage employees who rarely drive to book daily parking, via SpotHero’s mobile app, with their pre-tax debit cards, making parking an affordable option for days when public transportation or ridesharing just isn’t a good fit.
This incentivizes commuters who don’t drive enough to warrant paying for a monthly spot to park at work more often, which results in higher revenue for garage operators.
What is ‘pre-tax parking,’ anyway?
Pre-tax transportation programs benefit employees by providing them with the option of taking commuting cash out of their salary before they pay any taxes on it. In the case of WageWorks, those funds are stored in a special account accessed with a pre-tax debit card. So, when commuters know for sure that they will be spending a certain dollar amount every pay period on the train, bus or other mode of transportation, they can use pre-tax benefits to reduce their taxable income, while conveniently squirreling away cash for their everyday commute.
How will this partnership convince more commuters to drive into the office?
Now, when employees pay out-of-pocket for parking at their office, they can use a WageWorks pre-tax debit card to book a spot through the app. For nine-to-fivers who would prefer to park at work more often -- but choose not to because it’s a hassle to ask for reimbursement every time they drive -- this is an ideal arrangement. They save money while benefiting from the flexible, convenient and in-control commute that only driving can provide.
So what does this mean for parking professionals?
The 6.5 million employees using WageWorks transportation benefits to make their commutes faster and more affordable now have another option for getting to and going from work: driving. By partnering exclusively with SpotHero to offer pre-tax parking, WageWorks effectively lowers the price of parking for daily customers – and entices more train, bus and rideshare customers to drive in – without infringing on the margins of garage operators.
How can operators capitalize on a pre-tax parking program?
This partnership carves out a space for parking operators to compete for pre-tax dollars that commuters might use to pay for other modes of transportation – such as, for example, ridesharing. Commuters in major cities have been able to pay for rideshare services with their pre-tax debit cards ever since WageWorks partnered with Uber and Lyft in late 2016 and early 2017, respectively.
But this is WageWorks’ first partnership targeted toward commuters who value the convenience and flexibility of driving to work. The program effectively meets the needs of the efficiency-focused, app-minded modern driver and offers pre-tax parking benefits, all while negating the competitive threat of services such as UberPOOL and LyftLine.