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HRAR-10.03 - Trip Reduction Incentive Program (TRIP) - Interim Rule

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy category
Policy number
HRAR-10.03
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City of Portland Core Values

Anti-racism | Equity | Transparency | Communication | Collaboration | Fiscal Responsibility



Purpose

The City of Portland is dedicated to encouraging employees to use alternative modes of transportation such as walking, biking, transit and carpool to relieve road congestion, reduce harmful emissions and improve employee health. The TRIP program is designed to give employees incentives to choose alternatives to single occupant vehicle commuting. Program components include:

  • City pays $50.00 towards each monthly Tri-Met or C-TRAN Pass or $600.00 for an annual option. Monthly payroll deduction from pre-tax income covers the employee share.
  • For the annual option for ordering Tri-Met or CTRAN passes, deductions from pre-tax income covers the employee share from the first paycheck in April and the first paycheck in May.
  • City pays $25.00, up to $50.00 per month, for each bundle of ten daily passes for TriMet or C-TRAN. A payroll deduction from pre-tax income covers the employee share.
  • $50.00 off carpool or vanpool parking at downtown parking locations
  • $50.00 of additional (taxable) monthly income for walk commuters
  • $50.00 of additional (taxable) monthly income for bike commuters.
  • Emergency ride home: a free taxi ride (if the participant takes the bus, train, carpool, bikes or walks to work) in cases of emergency.

Participants in the TRIP program pledge to get to work 20% of the time each pay period by bus, MAX, walking or biking. Participants utilizing carpool under the TRIP program pledge to get to work 50% or more of the time each pay period.


The City offers this incentive program to employees at its discretion and may modify or terminate this program at any time. The Portland Bureau of Transportation, Active Transportation Division is responsible for the program administration and the Bureau of Human Resources, HR and Payroll Services, is responsible for the financial processing.


Eligibility

All benefits eligible employees may participate in the TRIP Program. Employees may sign up for the TRIP program prior to a benefits eligibility date for purposes of affecting participation upon eligibility. Employees may only take advantage of one incentive each month.

Employees are not eligible for the transit pass incentive if they drive to a neighborhood street or undesignated parking area and use Tri-Met or C-TRAN as a shuttle service. If an employee wants to combine different alternative modes of transportation during each month (bike, carpool, bus and walk), they are still eligible for either the transit pass, carpool, bike or walk incentive provided they do not drive alone on more than 20% of their work days each pay period for bike, bus, and walk; or, 50% of their work days each pay period for carpool.

Pre-tax payments for annual passes or monthly passes cannot exceed the monthly limits authorized by the IRS for such deductions . Employees are responsible for complying with IRS regulations. 


Tri-Met Passes

The City of Portland will pay $50.00 per month towards an employee’s Tri-Met monthly pass or $600.00 for the annual option. Employees use pre-tax income to pay the balance and have the pass automatically loaded onto their Hop cards. Employees may also be eligible for the transit pass incentive if they drive to a Tri-Met Park and Ride Lot and take a bus or train to work.

Participants have three options:

  1. Annual Pass: During April and May, employees may pay their share of a year’s pass using pre-tax income with two deductions for the entire year.  This option has the added benefit of receiving one-month free travel and locking in the current fares.
  2. Monthly Payroll Deduction: This option allows employees to pay for Tri-Met monthly passes using pre-tax income.  Payroll will deduct the amount the employee owes Tri-Met for the pass (plus an administrative fee to be set annually) from the second paycheck of each month.
  3. Ten Daily-Pass Bundle Payroll Deduction: This option allows employees to have up to $50 per month in day pass bundles of TriMet daily passes every month. Payroll will deduct the amount the employee owes TriMet for the passes (plus an administrative fee to be set annually, from the second paycheck of the month).

Changing or canceling a pass deduction: When an employee wishes to make changes to a transit pass payroll deduction, they must do so via the SAP CityLink Portal. It takes approximately 6 weeks lead-time to process these changes.  Employees may also make changes to their transit pass or mailing address via the SAP CityLink Portal.


C-TRAN

The City of Portland will pay $50.00 per month towards an employee’s C-TRAN pass or $600.00 for the annual option.  Employees use pre-tax income to pay the balance and have the pass automatically loaded onto their Hop cards. Employees may also be eligible for the transit pass incentive if they drive to a C-TRAN Park and Ride Lot and take a bus or train to work.

Participants have three options:

  1. Annual Pass: During April and May, employees may pay their share of a year’s passes using pre-tax income with two deductions for the entire year.  This option has the added benefit of receiving one-month free travel and locking in the current fares.
  2. Monthly Payroll Deduction: This option allows employees to pay for CTRAN monthly passes using pre-tax income.  Payroll will deduct the amount the employee owes CTRAN for the pass (plus an administrative fee to be set annually) from the second paycheck of each month.
  3. Ten Daily-Pass Bundle Payroll Deduction:  This option allows employees to pay for up to two ten-pass bundles of C-TRAN daily passes every month. Payroll will deduct the amount the employee owes C-TRAN for the passes (plus an administrative fee to be set annually from the second paycheck of the month).

Changing or canceling a pass deduction: When an employee wishes to make changes to a transit pass payroll deduction, they must do so via the SAP CityLink Portal. It takes approximately 6 weeks lead-time to process these changes.  Employees may also make changes to their transit pass or mailing address via the SAP CityLink Portal.


Columbia County Rider Transit Pass

The City of Portland will pay $50.00 per month towards the purchase of a Columbia County Rider transit pass. Employees pay the balance of the pass by sending a personal check along with a $50.00 Columbia County Rider TransitCheck, available from HR-Payroll Services to Columbia County Rider.


CarpoolCheck

The Carpool option allows City employees to use a $50.00 CarpoolCheck towards a monthly parking fee at specific parking facilities. Monthly fees and availability will vary. Contact your timekeeper or bureau designated transportation coordinator (TC) for more information.

Participants have a choice of two options:

  1. Parking facilities where the City of Portland has a discounted carpool program. This program gives additional discounts toward parking charges for carpoolers in selected garages and on street locations. each month the employee sends in a CarpoolCheck with the employee’s share of monthly parking charge. Contact PBOT Parking Control to enroll.
  2. Parking facilities where there is a regular monthly commuter rate. Each month employees can apply their $50.00 CarpoolCheck towards the monthly parking charge. Contact HR and Payroll Services (503) 823-4385 to enroll.

Employees may combine CarpoolChecks with other city employees to further reduce the parking fee. CarpoolChecks cannot be redeemed for cash.Carpoolers must comply with the carpool parking permit policies and procedures for the carpool parking program option selected. These policies outline where carpoolers can park with their permits, the cost of parking, how many people qualify as a "carpool," etc.

Carpool Option Rules and Procedures

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Employees must carpool with at least one other person at least fifty percent of days per pay period, both ways to and from work

Other carpool members need not be City employees, but they must work or go to school within the boundary area indicated on the  Carpool Zone Map.

Verification

  1. The Bureau of Human Resources will verify information on carpool applications. Inaccurate applications will be denied, and all carpoolers listed on the inaccurate application will be ineligible of participation in the TRIP program for one year.
  2. The Bureau of Human Resources will periodically contact carpoolers to determine authenticity.
  3. Information regarding carpool members’ addresses, phone numbers, and work locations must be kept current and updated by completing a new carpool application form.

Should a carpool member take a leave of absence for a period greater than four weeks, it is the responsibility of the other carpoolers to find another qualified participant and complete a new carpool application form.


Bike and Walk Bucks

Bike shall mean any non-motorized, pedal-operated vehicle or an electric assisted bicycle with both fully operative pedals for human propulsion, electric motor with power output of no more than 1,000 watts, and a maximum speed that does not exceed 20 mph on level ground.

Walk shall mean the unassisted travel of a person by foot or use of a wheelchair by a disabled employee.

City employees are eligible for Bike and Walk Bucks after they have biked or walked to work at least 20% of their scheduled workdays in each pay period.  City employees who use other forms of non-motorized transportation such as skateboards, skates and scooters are also eligible.

A participant is not eligible for Bike and Walk Bucks if they drive or ride in a car, van, or truck for any part of their bike and walk commute days. If a participant uses transit in combination with bike commuting or walking, the employee is still eligible for this benefit; however, the employee cannot also receive a transit pass subsidy.

Participants will receive $50.00 for each month they bike or walk to work to be added to their paychecks on a quarterly basis. Sick and vacation days are not counted against the participant. The last workdays of March, June, September and December are the quarterly deadlines for the completed Bike & Walk Bucks City of Portland Employee Commute Certificate to be submitted through SAP CityLink Portal in order to receive the benefit amount in the second paycheck of the following month.

 The $50.00 is considered taxable income under the Federal IRS Code for all incentives.


Emergency Ride Home Program

For employees who carpool, use transit, walk, skateboard, skate or bike to work, Tri-Met will pay for a taxi to take them home if they need to leave work unexpectedly due to an emergency.

Authorized reasons for using Emergency Ride Home Program are:

  1. The employee cannot take transit, walk or bike home because they are ill; or
  2. A close family member is seriously ill, has been in an accident, or died.  A close family member is a parent, sibling, spouse, domestic partner, child, or guardian; or
  3. A serious problem or crisis arises such as damage to home or property, or a problem at school or daycare that requires immediate attention; or
  4. The driver of the carpool or vanpool has to leave early to address an emergency and other rider are stranded.

Emergency ride home rules and vouchers are available from timekeepers and designated transportation coordinators. The origin and destination must both be within the TriMet transit district. The Emergency Ride Home voucher must be presented to the taxi driver before starting the trip and cannot be used for reimbursement purpose.


How to Sign Up for TRIP

Participants may sign up for the TRIP Program by using the SAP CityLink Portal.


Employee Changes

If an employee wishes to make changes to a transit pass payroll deduction for long vacations, leaves or retirement, they must do so via the SAP CityLink Portal ahead of time.


Deadlines for Changes

Please allow approximately six (6) weeks for changes to take effect.


Administration

Administrator shall mean the City of Portland Transportation Options Division Manager, or designee, within the Bureau of Transportation. The administrator is responsible for the general operation of this rule and shall have the authority to decide all questions arising in connection with the administration, interpretation, and application of this rule, and shall take all actions and make all the decisions that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this rule, including but not limited to:

  1. Determining an employee's eligibility to participate in the plan;
  2. Promulgating rules of procedure and keeping records necessary for the proper and efficient administration of this rule;
  3. Furnishing the City Council and participants with information they may require;
  4. Engaging the service of such agents as the administrator may deem advisable to assist in the performance of the administrator's duties;

All applicable reporting and disclosure requirements including the filing of any required income tax returns and engaging the service of agents to assist with reporting and disclosure requirements.


Disqualification/Violations

This program relies heavily on the honor system. Reported violations will be investigated and violators will be subject to disqualification and/or disciplinary action by the City of Portland.


Contact Information

Questions or comments about TRIP rules and eligibility should be directed to Bureau of Human Resources Payroll, InboxBHRCentralPayroll@potlandoregon.gov.


Historical notes

History

Adopted by Council March 6, 2002, Ordinance No. 176302

Effective April 5, 2002

Interim Rule Change effective July 1, 2006

Revised July 9, 2007

Revised April 17, 2009

Revised October 19, 2010

Revised November 4, 2011

Revised April 25, 2016

Revised January 1, 2020

Amended as an interim rule by the Acting Director of the Bureau of Human Resources effective February 26, 2024 for a period no greater than 180 days. 

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