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Employee programs

If you’re one of the thousands of employees who’d like to find a better way to get to work, Palo Alto TMA can help!  Right now, we’ve got three programs just for Downtown and California Ave employees.  Not sure what might work for you – or need advice?  We’re happy to help!  We can evaluate your individual needs and help you sort out the options.  Take a look at what’s currently offered:

Free Transit passes

Clipper card Image


Do you earn less than $70,000? Do you work in Palo Alto's Downtown or California Ave area? Will you commit to commuting by transit 3 days per week? If so, you may qualify for a FREE transit pass!

PATMA will give qualified employees a Clipper Card loaded with your choice of a Caltrain*, SamTrans, VTA or AC Transit (Dumbarton Express) monthly pass. If you receive a Caltrain 2 or 3 zone pass, you may use VTA or SamTrans to get from home to Caltrain.

The monthly pass is good for unlimited trips within your pass parameters each month. As long as you use it for commuting 3 or more days per week, you can renew each month (subject to funding availability)!

That’s a value of $800 to over $1,800 per year! Plus, you’ll save gas, parking headaches and other commute costs.


NOTE: As of April 1, 2022, PATMA's Waze Carpool subsidy program will no longer be active.

Earn money driving or get discounted rides with Waze for a benefit of $3 per ride or $1,800 per year!

Simple to Use. Join the group, download the app from Waze; and you’re all set!

  • No membership fees.

  • No monthly fees.

  • Pay as you use. The TMA subsidizes a portion of the cost of your trip.

  • Book rides one at a time. Earn money when you drive. When you ride, the app will let you know who your driver is and when they’ll arrive.  

  • Flexible for commuters with schedules that can change from one day to the next.​

Man Driving in Car
Lyft limits for Greater Palo Alto area
Lyft limit for Downtown Palo Alto

lyft for short trips

Sometimes, using transit isn’t an option.  If your shift in Downtown Palo Alto starts early or ends late here’s how we can help!

We’ll help with subsidized Lyft shared rides from your home directly to your job.  Leave your car (and the stress of parking) home!

How it works

Each month, The Palo Alto TMA will pay up to $10 per ride for up to 15 rides per month, so you can take advantage of your annual transit pass!

  • Credits will appear in your Lyft app, good for work trips between Downtown and the Greater Palo Alto Area Zone.

  • You’ll be eligible to receive credits every month through the end of the year.

  • If you can take the bus for one part of your commute, the TMA may also be able to give you a monthly bus pass in addition to the Lyft credits.

Do you qualify?

1. Do you live in the shaded area of the Greater Palo Alto Area map?
2. Do you currently drive to work in Downtown Palo Alto?
3. Do you earn less than $70,000 per year?
4. Do you have a smartphone and email?



Employees working in Downtown Palo Alto must purchase a permit to park on-street in the residential neighborhoods outside Downtown for longer than 2 hours (shown in green below).  Permits in the Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) district cost $375 and are valid for six months. Reduced price permits are available for lower-wage workers.​

Parking permits for Downtown garages (shown left) are $750 per year.

Downtown Parking Map
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