Why Do We Measure the Cost of Commuting?
As society sprawls and becomes more dependent upon cars, a major cost to our quality of life is being stuck in traffic. Studies find that commuting ranks as one of life's most dreaded activities, but for most of us it consumes a significant part of each day. The average Maryland commute is over 30 minutes, ranking second in the nation (2005). In addition to the time we could be spending exercising or being with family and friends, commuting is also a significant strain on our economy.
While the personal vehicle remains the most common way to go to work, public transit and carpooling are becoming increasingly popular. Commuting trends are positively changing as more people either carpool, bike, walk, or use public transportation for their daily commute.
by Governor O'Malley
Reducing the Cost of Your Commute
Maryland wants to help you reduce the cost of your commute. Of course, the best way to reduce the costs of commuting and its impacts on you and your environment is to live near your place of work. The ideal commute is one where you donít even have to leave the house. Changing your commute by teleworking, walking, using transit or car pooling can save thousands of dollars per year, extra money that you can use for mortgage payments, college tuitions, vacations, or anything you want.
Commuter Choice Maryland
Commuter Choice Maryland is an incentive program that encourages Maryland employees to choose transit or vanpools instead of driving to work. The program provides unique opportunities to explore commuting in Maryland. An example of the opportunities available is the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit Program. This program allows businesses operating in Maryland including 501 (c) (3) or (4) employers to claim a 50% tax credit for the cost of providing alternative commute options and commuter benefits to their employees up to a maximum credit of $50.00 per participating employee per month. The credit may be claimed against the state income tax, corporate income tax or the insurance premium tax.
The Telework Partnership with Employers is an initiative of the Maryland Department of Transportation in collaboration with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council & The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The program provides professional telework consulting services to Maryland employers to help them start or expand telework programs.