- The University of Pennsylvania is adding a bicycle commuting reimbursement to its employee benefits.
- The reimbursement, which goes into effect in January, will pay bike commuters up to $20 per month for maintenance and repair expenses.
- Federal law allows the benefit to be offered without being added to an employee's taxable income.
The benefit is still relatively rare and doesn't exactly pour cash on the recipient, but it's still a tax-free offering that's paid entirely by employers. The League of American Bicyclists notes a number of federal agencies have adopted the benefit, including the Department of Transportation.
And it potentially can offer savings to employers — mostly by encouraging a healthy practice among employees, thus potentially reducing health insurance costs.
Penn isn't alone among colleges in offering the reimbursement to employees. Harvard and MIT offer the same benefit, as does American University in Washington, among other colleges.