Quantifying the Impacts of a Commuter Benefits Program: The MBTA Corporate Pass Program Case Study

This research focuses on an existing mechanism used by Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston that offers additional revenue to the transit agency and decreases effective fares for riders, while also improving the overall customer experience. The mechanism is known as the Corporate Pass Program, and it is one example of the employer pass component of commuter benefits programs. The Corporate Pass Program offers a monthly pass to local Boston-area employers that they can distribute to their employees through a pre-tax payment plan. Although the Corporate Pass Program accounts for 27% of the MBTA’s annual fare revenue, the benefits of this program have not recently been quantified. This research aims to determine the benefits of the Corporate Pass Program to the MBTA, and how different employer characteristics influence employee participation in the Corporate Pass Program. The purpose of this research is to inform the strategic growth of subscription services within the public transit context. The authors use automated fare collection (AFC) data and a comprehensive survey of employers to estimate that $9 million in revenue is captured by the Corporate Pass Program annually by appealing to employees with lower transit usage than the average pass holder. Additionally, the survey results were examined using a regression model, which revealed that employer characteristics including size, pass subsidy, location, and parking availability influence employee participation. These findings have implications for optimizing program design in order to insulate transit agencies and riders alike from increasing fares.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01519290
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 14-4065
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2014 3:24PM