Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

TSB-2012-03 Effect of WMATA SmartBenefits® Autoload Transition on Unused Transit Benefit. (Excluding FAA employees)



DATE:  January 12, 2012        

SUBJECT:  Effect of WMATA SmartBenefits® Autoload Transition on Unused Transit Benefit.  (Excluding FAA employees)

PURPOSE:  Inform Department of Transportation Transit Benefit Participants receiving their transit benefit through WMATA SmartBenefits® of a possible debt to the government due to the implementation of the WMATA Autoload.

BACKGROUND:  To comply with IRS requirements (Internal Revenue Service Bulletin Rev.Rul.2006-57, “Qualified transportation fringes; smartcards and debit cards,”) WMATA has implemented an Autoload function that utilizes ‘Purses’ within each rider’s SmartBenefits® account.  This feature is used to separate the funds for the transit benefit, personal, and parking.  On December 1, 2011 TRANServe transitioned SmartBenefit ® participants to the WMATA Autoload function.  See TRANServe Bulletin TSB-2012-02.  As of midnight on November 30, 2011, unused funds, federal transit benefit or personal, held on your SmartTrip® card were transferred to each participant’s “Personal Purse”. 

If a participant was unable to exhaust his/her November transit benefit before the Autoload implementation, the government funds were transferred  into the Personal Purse of the participant’s SmartTrip® Card.  This action creates an individual debt to the government and the funds must be returned to the government.

Beginning on December 1, 2011 the federal transit benefit was autoloaded to the Transit Benefit Purse.  Unused funds in this purse will automatically be returned to the Government at month end.

ACTION:  All participants whose unused November federal transit benefit funds were transferred into their personal purse will need to take the following action no later than February 15, 2012:

  • Log into your personal WMATA account:
    • Click on SmarTrip® icon.
    • Click on Manage or Create an Account.
    • Follow the instructions on the website. 
  • Determine the amount of federal transit benefit funds remaining from your transit benefit on November 30, 2011.
  • Process a check or money order to: U.S. Department of Transportation for the amount owed.  Indicate your DOT mode on the memo line.
  • Turn the check in to the PTRAN office located at W12-190.

MORE INFORMATION:  TRANServe will hold Brown Bag sessions at 11:00 A.M on January 23rd and at 1:00 P.M January 25th and 27th in the conference center to review the information in the bulletin.  You may also contact your Operating Administration’s Transit Benefit Coordinator.

Last updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017