Private Transportation Largess Revealed

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 9 2013 3:43 PM

Private Transportation Largess Revealed

176613640
Mmmm ... parking.

Photo by Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images

For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, Silicon Valley firms providing cushy corporate buses to ferry workers from San Francisco to their offices has become a potent symbol of inequality in America. Meanwhile, in the San Francisco metropolitan area, driving alone in a car remains a more popular commuting option than mass transit of any sort.

Indeed, driving alone is more popular than transit in every American metropolitan area outside of New York and Washington.

Advertisement

And all across America, companies are providing their car-driving employees with subsidized transportation in the form of parking. Either the company owns or leases the parking lot or parking structure outright and makes it available for employee use, or the company pays for employees to get free or discounted parking at a commercially operated garage. This kind of parking benefit is even subsidized by the federal tax code, which allows a parking subsidy to not be counted as income. Indeed, it's the tax deductibility of subsidized parking that help explain why it's such a ubiquitous perk.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

The Best Thing About the People’s Climate March in NYC

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

A Woman Who Escaped the Extreme Babymaking Christian Fundamentalism of Quiverfull

John Oliver Debunks the Miss America Pageant’s Claim That It Gives Out $45 Million in Scholarships

Trending News Channel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Over There
Sept. 22 2014 1:29 PM “That’s Called Jim Crow” Philip Gourevitch on America’s hypocritical interventions in Africa.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 22 2014 1:37 PM Subprime Loans Are Back! And believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 22 2014 1:22 PM Is Arabic Really Just One Language? 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 22 2014 12:29 PM Escaping the Extreme Christian Fundamentalism of "Quiverfull"
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 22 2014 2:12 PM Crusader, Sans Cape The superhero trappings of Gotham are just a clever disguise.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 12:14 PM Family Court Rules That You Can Serve Someone With Legal Papers Over Facebook
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 22 2014 12:15 PM The Changing Face of Climate Change Will the leaders of the People’s Climate March now lead the movement?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.