Commute Alternatives Program

The County of San Mateo is committed to reducing traffic and air pollution, conserving energy, and improving the quality of life for county employees and the community by providing a comprehensive set of services and incentives that support an employee’s choice to use public transit, carpool, vanpool, walk or bike to work.

The San Mateo County Commute Alternatives Program (CAP) provides various benefits to county employees who commute to work by public transit, vanpool, carpool, bike or by walking. The Commute Alternatives Program also operates the SMC Commuter Bus, and provides resources for our Emergency Ride Home program, carpool-only parking facilities, and bike lockers.

San Mateo County is proud to be one of the nation’s “Best Workplaces for Commuters”, an elite list that recognizes employers that are leaders in offering superior commuter benefits. We are pleased to have received this national designation from the U.S. EPA for doing our part in reducing traffic congestion, air pollution, and improving the quality of life for our employees.

Over the past 20 years, CAP has helped employees increase their use of high-occupancy commute modes, curb millions of pounds of pollutants from being emitted into the air, and has reduced millions of vehicle miles of travel on Bay Area roads.

The San Mateo County Commute Alternatives Program offers the following programs and services to County employees:

SMC Commuter Bus

We launched the San Mateo County Commuter Bus pilot program to contribute to reducing local traffic and improving air quality in the Bay Area. The Commuter Bus takes County of San Mateo employees to and from the San Mateo Medical Center, 2000 Alameda de las Pulgas, and County Government Center during commute hours. This pilot program is funded by subsidies from the Commute Alternatives Program, the General Fund, and employee contributions.

Our current service is operated by Chariot, a Ford Smart Mobility partner. Service is provided Monday through Friday, with the exception of County observed holidays. For more information on routes, schedules, and pickup locations, refer to the Commute Alternatives Program Intranet page (County employee login credentials required), or contact CAP staff at for more information.

Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit & Transit Subsidy

The County of San Mateo provides its employees with a $75/month transit and vanpool subsidy and a Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit program (up to the Federally alloted $260/month) to help with the cost of commuting via public transit systems like BART, Caltrain, SamTrans, etc. Working alongside the San Mateo County Commute Alternatives Program, WageWorks administers the County’s $75 commuter subsidy and Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit. In order to obtain these benefits, employees enroll and maintain their accounts using WageWorks.

Bike, Walk, Carpool Program

The San Mateo County Commute Alternative Program also offers a monthly $20 subsidy to county employees who choose to bike, walk, or carpool from home to work a minimum of eight (8) days per month/
An employee may participate in the transit, carpooling, bike, walking or vanpooling programs, but will only qualify for one program subsidy at a time.

In addition, we have a number of bike lockers and reserved carpool spaces available for County employees.

Guaranteed Ride Home Program

The Guaranteed Ride Home program assists County employees in getting home during the workday when an emergency arises. This program is available to County employees who actively participate in our Commute Alternatives Program, and is at no cost to the employee. Eligible County employees with a qualifying emergency are reimbursed for their ride home.

Contact Us

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If you are a San Mateo County employee and would like to know more about these programs & services, click here to access the Commute Alternatives Program Sharepoint site (you’ll need to log in with County credentials).