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Commuter Benefits

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Postdoctoral Researchers and Fellows are eligible to participate in Penn’s Department of Parking & Commuter Services programs. Please note that NRSA Fellows are currently not eligible due to IRS tax regulations.

The University’s commuter programs accommodate a variety of circumstances and include discounted, pre-tax purchases of commuter passes and cards that can be used for the robust network of transit systems that serve Penn’s campus. 

Penn’s commuter benefit provides a 5% discount on commuter fares and passes purchased through pre-tax payroll deductions and a 10% discount on SEPTA monthly passes.

The discount on Philadelphia regional passes is 50% with a maximum discount of $105 per month. This 50% discount will be available for transportation options including SEPTA’s Monthly City TransPass and Monthly Regional TrailPass (SEPTA Key’s Travel Wallet is not included), PATCO, New Jersey Transit, and Amtrak’s Prepaid 10-pack tickets and Monthly Pass.

The Commuter Card will continue to be offered with a discount of 5%. This card allows participants to load pre-tax contributions onto a debit card that can be used to pay for a variety of eligible transit expenses. The pre-tax deduction of up to $300 per month will still be available, adding additional savings potential to riders.

Penn Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program

The Penn Bike Commuter Expense Reimbursement Program offers bicycle commuting expenses to qualified PDTs for any out-of-pocket eligible expenses up to $240 annually. Unlike a flexible spending account, reimbursement comes directly from the University and is considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Expense categories that the University will reimburse are:

  • Bike purchases
  • Maintenance
  • Improvements and bike accessories
  • Parking and commercial storage costs
  • Safety gear

Purchases such as membership and program fees along with clothing and apparel are not considered allowable expenses.

Funding for this program is provided by the Division of Business Services in support of the University’s Climate Action Plan.

To see if you qualify for this benefit or for more information, please see the Program FAQs or contact bikecommuter@upenn.edu.

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Related FAQs

Am I eligible for commuter benefits?

As of July 1, 2023, postdoctoral researchers and fellows can enroll in benefits. If you enroll in July, your commuter benefits will be available in August. Postdocs are also eligible for parking but they will need to apply and there may be a waitlist. Find more information here.

How do I know if I’m eligible for the Penn Postdoc Benefits Plan?

All postdoctoral researchers and fellows are typically eligible for benefits through Penn and NRSA Fellows are eligible for benefits through Gallagher Services. Exceptions to this eligibility rule are rare. If you are uncertain of your funding source, please contact your department or the school’s business administrator.

Is benefits enrollment required for all postdocs?

Yes. You must participate by either enrolling or waiving benefits in Workday. This is required during your onboarding process and each year during open enrollment.

What benefits are available to postdocs?

Postdoctoral Researchers and Fellows are eligible for the Penn Postdoc Benefits plan. NRSA Fellows are eligible for benefits through Gallagher Services.

What happens to my benefits if funding for my postdoc position changes?

If your funding changes from NRSA to non-NRSA funding (or vice versa) you will need to switch benefits plans. You will be contacted by either Penn HR through Workday or Gallagher Benefits Services, depending on whether your support will be from NRSA or Non NRSA funds.

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