Headquarters - Washington, DC Metro Area
Transportation Subsidy Program
Effective January 1, 2007, the Transportation Subsidy Program provides eligible employees up to $110 per month for mass and vanpool transportation (excluding parking). This benefit received by employees participating in the program is not subject to tax. To participate, you must fill out the enrollment form, “U.S. Department of the Interior’s Public Transportation Subsidy Program Application” which can be obtained from your administrative officer, servicing personnel office, or the Human Resources website at www.nbc.gov/facilities/transportation_subsidy.html .
Application forms must be sent to Rebekah Giddings, Transportation Subsidy Program Coordinator, Headquarters Human Resources Office, Mailstop HR 2000.
The following are questions and answers regarding the Transportation Subsidy Program.
What is the Transportation Subsidy Program? This program gives enrolled employees up to $110 a month for mass transportation and vanpools (excluding parking). It is designed to encourage employees to use mass transit for commuting to and from work. Employees will receive the subsidy through the Metrochek program which is distributed on a quarterly basis.
Who is eligible for the Transportation Subsidy Program? Employees in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area who use mass transportation or vanpools to commute to work will be eligible for the subsidy. You must be enrolled to receive the subsidy. Employees are not eligible to participate in the subsidy program if they are in a carpool that receives a federally subsidized parking space. There is no provision in existing statutes to reimburse employees for carpooling expenses.
What qualifies as mass transportation or a vanpool? Mass transportation is any form of public transportation (bus, light rail, subway, train, or authorized vanpool). A vanpool is a “Commuter Highway Vehicle” having a seating capacity of at least 6 adults, and is to be used for transporting employees to and from work for at least 80% of the mileage. Vanpools frequently satisfy the criteria for a “Commuter Highway Vehicle” while carpools do not.
Are vanpool riders and vanpool owner/operators eligible to participate in the Transportation Subsidy Program? Vanpool riders are eligible to participate if the vanpool is a “Commuter Highway Vehicle” and is registered with the local transportation authority and accepts transit passes as payment. Vanpool owner/operators are not eligible to participate in the Transportation Subsidy Program.
Can I participate in the Transportation Subsidy Program if I use qualifying public transportation less than 5 days per week? Employees may have an established commuting pattern which consists of using a vanpool and/or public transportation less than 5 days per week on a regular and recurring basis. If you have such an established commuting pattern, you are only allowed to claim transportation expenses for the days that you are using a vanpool and/or public transportation. This must be indicated on your application form and will be reviewed against your actual transportation expenses claimed. Occasional or sporadic use of public transportation does not qualify for participation in the program.
If I am a new employee, should I wait for the next distribution period before signing up? You can apply for the Transportation Subsidy Program at any time. Your transit pass will be pro-rated based on when the application is processed. Please remember there are no retroactive provisions for this program.
How do I cancel my enrollment? To cancel enrollment, a written notice and your unused fare media must be sent to Rebekah Giddings, Local Transportation Subsidy Program Coordinator, Headquarters Human Resources Office, Mailstop HR 2000, stating the date you wish to end your participation in the program.
If I leave the Service, what happens to the unused fare media? You will be required to return the fare media to your office. If you have used more than the pro-rated amount, you will be required to reimburse the Service for the difference.
What is the role of a supervisor in the Transportation Subsidy Program? To serve as certifying official for employee participation in the Transportation Subsidy Program. Supervisors will receive the transportation subsidy application form from their employees to review for completeness; perform “reasonable” checks to ensure eligibility; and sign the forms to signify approval. Supervisors will also ensure that the Payroll Cost Structure Account Number is complete and accurate.
Additional questions about the transportation subsidy program can be addressed to your servicing personnel office or visit the www.nbc.gov/facilities/transportation_subsidy.html