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
  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:

*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.


Leave a Comment

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

Commuter Benefits Ordinance 101

Do you know about DC’s new commuter benefits ordinance?

Starting January 1, 2016, organizations with 20 or more employees will be required to offer access to commuter transit benefits. This will allow thousands of people who work in the District to use pre-tax funds for Metro, bus and vanpool fares.

Everyone saves with commuter benefits.

  • Watch the savings pile up on payroll taxes for every pre-tax or direct dollar spent on employee transit fares.
  • See employee satisfaction rise as more of their paychecks go into their pockets, with commute funds loaded directly onto their SmarTrip® cards each month.
  • Take pride in doing your part to reduce traffic and pollution by making it easy for employees to choose alternative transportation.

As an employer, you can choose to:

  1. Allow employees to use an IRS-approved, pre-tax payroll deduction for transit fares (up to $130/month).
  2. Subsidize employee transit fares by offering an employer-paid direct benefit (up to $130/month).
  3. Provide complimentary shuttle or vanpool service for employees.

At goDCgo, we work with you every step of the way to make offering commuter benefits easier than ever.
Contact us today to take advantage of a complimentary one-on-one consultation, and get started with the commuter benefits plan that fits your organization best.

Email us:
Call us: 202-299-2186

Stay tuned for step-by-step directions for implementing each of the three options in the coming weeks! Sign up for our employer newsletter to stay informed.


Leave a Comment

Filed under Carpooling, Commuting, Employer News, Transportation and Money, Vanpooling