TRANSIT BENEFIT PROGRAM BULLETIN
TRANServe ELECTRONIC FARE MEDIA – DEBIT CARD
Bulletin Number: TSB-2012-02
Date: December 13, 2011
SUBJECT: Migration to DOT TRANServe Debit card for TRANServe Customers who Ride VRE, MARC and/or MTA Commuter Buses
PURPOSE: To notify Agency Points of Contact (POCs) that all DOT TRANServe customers with participants who ride VRE, MARC, MTA commuter buses must migrate to the use of the TRANServe Debit Card immediately to continue to receive their transit benefit. DOT TRANServe will be in touch with Agency POCs to determine the specific schedule for such migration. This notification affects only those participants who ride VRE, MARC, and MTA commuter buses.
BACKGROUND: Executive Order 13150, Federal Workforce Transportation, Section 1, requires that Federal agencies implement a transportation fringe benefit program that offers qualified Federal employees the option to exclude from taxable wages and compensation employee commuting costs incurred through the use of mass transportation and vanpools, not to exceed the maximum level allowed by law. It has recently come to TRANServe’s attention that the allocation method used by participants via WMATA’s SmartBenefits® Program for VRE, MARC, and MTA commuter buses, which do not accept the SmarTrip® Card utilizes a depositary that is not designated by the Secretary of the Treasury. Accordingly, DOT is requiring TRANServe customers with participants who ride VRE, MARC, and/or MTA commuter buses to convert to the TRANServe Debit card immediately.
TRANServe’s Counsel has been working closely with Counsel from the U.S. Treasury Department, Financial Management Service and Internal Revenue Service regarding the relevant statutory and regulatory authorities. This is to ensure our debit card meets the requirements of IRS Revenue Ruling 2006-57 and does not create a taxable event or place a tax burden on the federal employee.
TRANServe’s process is based on an evaluation of the card functionality in specific areas of the United States.
- Contact your Transit Benefit Manager (TBM) to review previously distributed information as it relates to transition and enrollment to the TRANServe Debit Card and its application to your Agency. All affected participants must be enrolled by January 17, 2011.
- Coordinate and review with your TBM to confirm your participants who currently ride VRE, MARC, and/or MTA commuter buses and initiate transition to the TRANServe Debit Card.
- Look for additional instructions from TRANServe about distribution and activation of the debit card and share it with your participants.
- Discuss enrollment timelines and funding dates associated with the debit card with your TBM.
INFORMATION: If you have any questions or require further assistance, please contact your TBM.