10 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss the Next SmartBenefits Employer Seminar

Commuter Benefits Seminar 2On August 13, Metro hosted another great seminar for employers to learn the ins and outs of saving big with SmartBenefits®. Account reps gave in-depth info about how and why to set up a free SmartBenefits® account to administer your organization’s pre-tax or subsidized transit benefits. goDCgo was there to share information about DC’s Commuter Benefits Ordinance and the wide variety of commuter resources employers can offer.

The next session will be held Tuesday, September 22 at Metro’s headquarters from 9:00-11:30am. Registration is free; click here to RSVP.

Here are 10 reasons to attend:

  1. See an interactive demo of how to set up a free SmartBenefits® online account and manage your employees’ benefits
  2. Meet your SmartBenefits® account rep so you know who to call if you have unexpected issues with your account
  3. Learn about SmartBenefits® AnyTime, a great feature that adds flexibility to your account by adding “reserve” funds so you can load new benefits after the monthly open enrollment period
  4. Pick up brochures and instructions to share with your employees as you roll out your new SmartBenefits® program or introduce it to new hires
  5. Receive Metro’s latest insider updates to share with your staff, such as the upcoming elimination of paper farecards
  6. Learn how SmartBenefits® makes it easy to comply with both IRS guidelines and DC’s Commuter Benefits Ordinance
  7. Get step-by-step instructions on how employees can allocate their benefits toward non-SmarTrip® transit fares such as commuter rail, commuter buses and vanpools
  8. Ask the experts how billing works, what to do if an employee loses their SmarTrip® card, or any other questions you may have
  9. Start saving money for your employees and your organization as soon as possible
  10. Meet me! I’m Grace Oran with goDCgo and I consult with hundreds of small businesses to large Fortune 500 clients on commuter transit benefits implementation

The Employer Services team at goDCgo offers complimentary assistance every step of the way to make offering commuter benefits easier than ever. From conducting commute surveys to creating custom marketing materials to advising on implementation, we are always here to help. Contact us today to get started with the commuter benefits plan that fits your organization best.

Email us: info@godcgo.com
Call us: 202-299-2186

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Filed under Employer News, Ridesharing, Transportation and Money, Vanpooling

Catch These Great Deals

DC’s Summer Restaurant Week (Aug 17–23) is in full swing. Now through Sunday, participating restaurants are offering three-course prix-fixe lunches for $22 and dinners for $35.
Thrillist DC has compiled a list of “The 16 Most Important Restaurants in DC” based on the restaurants’ impact on the DC dining scene. Luckily, seven of those 16 restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week.

Here’s a handy guide to get you there car-free.

Restaurant Capital Bikeshare DC Circulator Metrobus Metrorail
BlackSalt Yes
Graffiato Yes Yes Yes Yes
Jaleo Yes Yes Yes
Old Ebbitt Grill Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rasika Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rasika West End Yes Yes Yes
Zaytinya Yes Yes Yes

Reservations can be made online through OpenTable. Be sure to use our interactive map to plan your travel to any of the other 200+ participating restaurants.

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Filed under Biking, Bus, Capital Bikeshare, DC Circulator, Events, Metro

10 Good-to-Know Facts about the DC Circulator’s New National Mall Route

Haven’t tried the new National Mall route yet? Check out these 10 facts that are sure to get you up and going from Union Station to the Lincoln Memorial and back.

For more information on the National Mall route, including a downloadable map with listed stops, visit nationalmall.dccirculator.com.

 

National_Mall_Route_Infographic

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Filed under Bus, DC Circulator

Foreign Tourist – A BIXI Bikeshare Story

The DC Metro area loves to head north for summer vacation to escape the heat and humidity. Many Capital Bikeshare members travel to Montreal in search of culture and cooler weather based on several reports received about a rogue Capital Bikeshare bike roaming its streets. What’s the story here? Some kind of study-abroad program for Bikeshare bikes? Capital Bikshare asked its friends at the BIXI Montreal system to get to the bottom of this great international Bikeshare mystery.

BIXI-Bikeshare-blog

The supplier of Capital Bikeshare’s stations and bikes is based in Montreal. It turns out the French-Canadian versions of the District’s familiar red bikes are part of a marketing scheme by BIXI Montreal to highlight all of the cities that use the same bikesharing technology. In addition to the 10, yes 10, Capital Bikeshare-styled bikes in operation amongst BIXI’s 5,200 bike fleet, there are also bikes sporting the colors of Nice Ride Minnesota, BIXI Toronto, Barclays (now Santander) Cycle Hire London and Melbourne Bike Share.

Since the debut in 2011, shortly after Capital Bikeshare officially launched in Washington, DC and Arlington, the 10 Capital Bikeshare bikes have taken 18,697 trips covering more than 914 km (567 miles). That’s about the distance between Montreal and Washington DC – taking 59 hours and costing about $958 in usage fees. This calculation doesn’t include stops along the way.

So, if you’re in Montreal and you spot a familiar red bicycle parked among its BIXI brethren, don’t be surprised. Snap a picture and send it to Capital Bikeshare as a hello from its cousins in Canada!

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Filed under Biking, Capital Bikeshare

Setting up SmartBenefits: DIY

So you’re ready to offer pre-tax or subsidized transit benefits to your employees. Congratulations! You’re one step closer to having happier employees, complying with DC’s new Commuter Benefits Ordinance and helping reduce traffic congestion and pollution in our region.

For employers ready to administer benefits in-house, Metro’s SmartBenefitsSM program allows you to put funds directly on employees’ SmarTrip® cards at no additional cost. SmartBenefitsSM saves you and your employees’ money while making everyone’s commute a little easier. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Decide whether you want to offer pre-tax contributions (Ordinance option 1), employer-paid direct benefits (Ordinance option 2), or a combination of the two, allowing employees to access up to $130/month.
  2. Set up your organization’s SmartBenefitsSM account online at wmata.com/smartbenefits.
  3. Collect and enter employees’ SmarTrip® serial numbers and requested contribution amounts online by the 15th of the month. Funds appear on employees’ cards on the 1st of the following month.
  4. Watch the FICA and payroll tax savings roll in, as well as the praise from your satisfied employees!

Lorraine Taylor at Metro suggests that you act FAST to set up your account so that your employees and the organization can start to take advantage of the tax savings. Let your employees join the 250,000 SmartBenefitsSM employees taking advantage of the convenience and tax savings.

SmartBenefitsSM can be redeemed anywhere SmarTrip® is accepted.* Employees can also choose to allocate their SmartBenefitsSM toward MetroAccess, MARC and VRE tickets, vanpool fares, and more.

Need a helping hand with setup and monthly upkeep? Whether you have 5 or 5,000 employees, many third party benefits administrators are available to provide transit benefits on your behalf. Stay tuned for tips on choosing a vendor, and sign up for our employer newsletter to stay informed. Contact goDCgo for complimentary consultation every step of the way: info@godcgo.com.


*SmarTrip® is accepted by: ART, CUE, DASH, DC Circulator, Fairfax Connector, Loudoun County Transit, PRTC OmniRide, Ride On and TheBus. Employees may redeem benefits for other transit and vanpool fares via their personal SmartBenefitsSM account or Commuter Direct.

The Employer Services program at goDCgo provides complimentary consultation to employers in Washington, DC to make choosing sustainable commutes easier than ever. goDCgo is an initiative of the District Department of Transportation.

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Filed under Biking, Bus, Car Sharing, Commuting, Employer News, Transportation and Money, Vanpooling