Mass transit commuters should get the same tax break as people who drive to work, Sen. Charles Schumer said Tuesday.

The New York Democrat said he has high hopes for a measure that would allow bus, subway and commuter rail riders to deduct up to $250 a month from their taxable income next year.

Currently, the figure is $130. Before this year it had been as high as $245, Mr. Schumer said, matching the amount drivers are permitted to deduct from income for parking expenses.

But the figure for mass transit commuters was reduced for 2014, although the drivers’ break was extended. The tax breaks are available if employers participate in eligible programs.
Mr. Schumer’s bill “would restore parity between commuters and drivers,” the senator said at a White Plains news conference.

He predicted it would also be “a huge shot in the arm for the local economy.” He said it would also help the environment and even benefit drivers by reducing traffic.

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary