1425 - Bicycle Commuter Program

Category

Benefits and Insurance

Audience List

  • Accounting Officers
  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Agency Secretaries
  • Agency Undersecretaries
  • Budget Officers
  • Claims Coordinators
  • Department Deputy Directors
  • Department Directors
  • Employee Relations Officers
  • Health and Safety Officers
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Staff
  • Personnel Transactions Supervisors
  • Travel and Relocation Program Coordinators
  • Wellness Coordinators

Synopsis

This policy:

  • Defines eligibility criteria for participation in the Bicycle Commuter Program (Program).
  • Provides instruction to employees on how to:
    • Self-certify their participation in the Program.
    • Prepare and submit their claims.
  • Provides instruction to departments on how to:
    • Track employee eligibility and participation.
    • Process claims for payment by the State Controller’s Office (SCO) or through their internal departmental processes.
    • Submit annual participation reports to the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR), if necessary.

Introduction

The Program is a taxable benefit administered by CalHR. This benefit is voluntarily provided by the State of California and encourages active state employees (employees) to consider bicycle commuting as a means of active transportation to and from their residences and places of employment. The Program promotes health and wellness and sustainable commuting practices by encouraging employees to use bicycles as their primary means of commuting. The Program supports the California Department of Transportation’s “Toward an Active California State Bicycle and Pedestrian” plan to triple bicycling in the state between 2010 and 2020.

The Program allows the employer, the State of California, to provide a taxable benefit to eligible employees who use bicycles as a primary means of commuting. For the purposes of this Program, a bicyclist is any person riding a bicycle or tricycle, including Class I and II e-bikes, cargo bikes, recumbent bikes, bikes with trailers, handcycles, or other variations. Motorized scooters or mopeds are not considered bicycles.

Departments will absorb the cost of providing this taxable bicycle commuter benefit to all of their eligible employees who participate in the Program.

CalHR encourages departments to:

  • Promote employee health and wellness, and sustainable commuting practices by supporting participation in the Program.
  • Evaluate their facilities and budgets to see what, if any, options they may be able to provide for related amenities, including, but not limited to, secure bicycle storage.
  • Provide all reasonably available amenities.

Statement

Eligibility

Effective May 1, 2018, any active state employee whose salary is paid directly by the State of California is eligible to participate in the Program. Employee participation in the Program is voluntary. Participants are eligible to receive the taxable bicycle commuter benefit if they:

  • Regularly commute by bicycle during a substantial portion (at least 50 percent of the days employees are scheduled to work) of the calendar month.
    • Active fractional time base employees must commute by bicycle at least 50 percent of the days they are scheduled to work in a calendar month.
    • Active intermittent employees must commute by bicycle at least 50 percent of the days they are scheduled to work in a calendar month.

The bicycle commuter benefit may be claimed by employees who combine using transit passes for a portion of their commutes with bicycling for a portion of their commutes.

Employees may change their participation in the Program on a monthly basis.

Enrollment/Participation

There is no enrollment process to participate in the Program. See the “How to Submit a Bicycle Commuter Benefit Claim” section of this policy for information on how to participate in the Program.

CalHR strongly encourages participating employees to wear helmets.

Program Cost

There is no cost for eligible employees to participate in the Program. However, departments will absorb the cost of providing this taxable bicycle commuter benefit to all of their eligible employees who participate in the Program.

Maximum Allowable Bicycle Commuter Benefit Claim

Employees may claim $20 for each calendar month in which they commute a substantial portion (at least 50 percent of the days employees are scheduled to work in a calendar month) by bicycle, up to a maximum of $240 per calendar year.

Taxability

This is a taxable benefit.

Bicycle Commuter Benefit Claim Submission Deadlines

CalHR recommends that employees submit their claims on a quarterly basis. Employees are required to submit claims by the end of the next quarter as follows:

  • January-March: Claims must be submitted by June 30
  • April-June: Claims must be submitted by September 30
  • July-September: Claims must be submitted by December 31
  • October-December: Claims must be submitted by March 31 of the following year

How to Submit a Bicycle Commuter Benefit Claim

Employee Responsibilities

Forms
Follow the established process for your department.  Either submit your claim through CalATERS Global or submit a STD 262A -Travel Expense Claim Form (TEC).

Additional Instructions for Employees Submitting Claims via CalATERS

  • The self-certification claim form (CalHR 873 - Bicycle Commuter Program Quarterly Self-Certification) should be entered as a “receipt” in CalATERS.
  • As CalHR recommends submitting Bicycle Commuter claims on a quarterly basis, employees who claim this benefit in CalATERS should select the Non-Travel form and should cover a 3-month period (e.g. July 1- September 30). However, the expense information should be entered separately for each month ($20 for each individual qualifying month, with a $60 total: $20 for July 1, $20 for August 1, and $20 for September 1).

Employees perform the following actions to submit claims:

  • Document their bicycle commutes on the self-certification claim form (CalHR 873 - Bicycle Commuter Program Quarterly Self-Certification). Their signatures on this form certify that they meet the above mentioned eligibility criteria. (Open the form in Internet Explorer to use the drop down calendar feature.)
  • Submit the following documents to their supervisors for review and/or approval:
    • CalHR 873- Bicycle Commuter Program Quarterly Self-Certification
    • CalATERS Global transmittal form or STD 262A -Travel Expense Claim

If their supervisors approve their claims, then employees or their supervisors submit them to their Accounting Office/Departmental Bicycle Commuter Program Coordinators (Departmental Program Coordinator) according to their department’s internal process.

Departmental Responsibilities

The Accounting Office/Departmental Program Coordinator will:

  • Review the claim.
  • Add employee participation in the Program to CalHR’s Annual Bicycle Commuter Benefit Program Report for claims not submitted via CalATERS, if necessary.
    • Complete the Bicycle Commuter Benefit Program Report for claims not submitted via CalATERS.
    • Submit completed Bicycle Commuter Benefit Reports for the previous calendar year to CalHR via email by January 31.

If the Accounting Office/Departmental Program Coordinator approves the claim, he/she shall follow the department’s internal process for issuing payment.

Bicycle Commuter Claim Checks

Payments Issued by SCO

For departments that process TECs via CalATERS Global, payment is issued in the same manner as your payroll (direct deposit or warrant).  Once the form is approved by the department, CalATERS Global takes five business days to issue payment.

If your warrant is lost or stolen, contact your Accounting Office/Departmental Program Coordinator. They will contact SCO CalATERS for further information.

Payments Issued by Departments

Departments may have internal processes which include issuing claim checks directly to employees.

Contact the Accounting Office/Departmental Program Coordinator for updates on the status of these claim checks.

False Claim

Making a false claim to the State of California by knowingly presenting or knowingly causing to be presented an untrue statement to obtain payment or funds from the State of California is grounds for removal from participation in the program and could result in legal action, including, but not limited to, adverse action. Employees who make false claims shall reimburse the state for funds they receive for their participation in this Program.

Complaint Process

Employees may dispute denied claims to their department head or designee. The department head or designee is the final approval authority for bicycle commuter benefits claims.

Application

Not Applicable.

Authorities

Resources

FAQs

Forms

PML

Web Pages

Contact Person

Theresa Reid
Benefits Program Analyst, Travel/Relocation
Phone: 916-324-0526
Fax: 916-324-3213
Email: travel.manager@calhr.ca.gov

Authorized By

Machelle Martin
Chief, Benefits Division

History

View History

Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2500 - Discipline

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace