In the first half of Obama's presidency the federal government took a multipronged approach to support the growth of transit ridership, including giving the same tax benefits to public transit riders as car commuters. However, 2012 has brought back the primacy of the driver in federal tax policy.
This year public transit commuters will have to pay an additional $550 dollars in taxes due to the elimination of equal pretax dollars for drivers and public transit riders. As Sarah Laskow writes, "Right now, the government is signaling that it prefers people drive to work, despite the negative consequences of car commuting-traffic, higher carbon emissions, and parking lots that suck the life out of entire city blocks."
Potential good news is on the horizon however, Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, and Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat from Massachusetts, are seeking to restore then commuter subsidy equality with new legislation.
Thanks to Elaine Mahoney