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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 can evaluate your individual needs and help you sort out the options. Here's 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.


Do you currently drive alone to work in Palo Alto?

Bike Love, developed in partnership with the Motion mobility app, incentivizes active commuting to and from work. 


Receive $5 per day - up to $600 a year - and $10 to set up Bike Love. 


The app confirms eligible bike, e-bike, e-scooter, and e-skateboard trips to Downtown Palo Alto, California Ave, or one of 30 Caltrain stations. 

Within minutes of completing the ride to work, incentive dollars will be available on your Visa® Rewards Card and can be redeemed at local merchants. By spending your incentive dollars at local merchants, the rewards for your clean commute will help support Palo Alto businesses - a win for the environment and the local economy! 

Image by David Dvořáček
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 subsidize 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 on the map). 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 are $750 per year.

Downtown Parking Map
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