1.32.15  Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP)

Manual Transmittal

April 23, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.32.15, Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP).

Material Changes

(1) This IRM was changed to reflect the increase in the transit subsidy benefit. Some formatting changes have been made, but they do not affect the content.

(2) The TRANServe Debit Card has successfully been rolled out in some locations. Others locations will be included if they meet the requirements.

Effect on Other Documents

This supersedes IRM 1.32.15 dated April 15, 2011.

Audience

All Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(04-23-2013)

Mary Beth Murphy
Director, Employee Support Services
Agency-Wide Shared Services

1.32.15.1  (04-23-2013)
Overview of the Public Transportation Subsidy Program

  1. The Internal Revenue Service Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) was established to encourage employees to use public transportation when commuting to and from work. This action essentially improves air quality, reduces traffic congestion, and conserves energy by reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road.

  2. Employees using public transportation to commute to and from work may apply for transit subsidy benefits under the IRS PTSP.

  3. Eligible employees, using an authorized public transportation method, will receive an employer-provided fare subsidy to apply toward their monthly transit costs.

  4. IRS will pay the transit benefits from appropriated funding, using stipulated guidelines.

  5. Transit benefits are not taxable to the participant and are not included in the Form W-2.

1.32.15.1.1  (04-23-2013)
Authority

  1. The IRS PTSP was implemented as a result of:

    1. Federal Workforce Transportation, Executive Order 13150, dated 4-21-2000.

    2. Public Transportation Program, Treasury Directive 74-10, dated 11-3-2000.

  2. These directives are based on:

    1. Energy Policy Act of 1992, Pub. L. No.102-486.

    2. Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (26 USC §132).

    3. Federal Employees Clean Air Incentives Act, Pub. L. No. 103-172 (5 USC §7905).

    4. Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, Pub. L. No. 230-178.

  3. Additional References:

    1. Revenue Ruling 99-7 defines a non-temporary work location.

    2. IRS Memorandum on Parking Policy, dated 7-9-2002, specifies that appropriated funds are not used for employee parking, that parking is a personal expense, and it reiterates the Government's position to encourage the use of public transportation.

    3. IRS/NTEU Letter of Understanding, dated 10-20-2000, discusses the service wide implementation of the PTSP.

    4. IRS/NTEU Memorandum of Understanding, dated 5-5-2003 discusses the channeling of customer service requests to the Employee Resource Center.

    5. IRS/NTEU Letter of Understanding, dated 5-23-2008, discusses the annual recertification process.

    6. IRS/NTEU Letter of Understanding, dated 8-31-2010, discusses the allowance for details, 90-days or more, and the use of the unlimited transit subsidy, to perform local "in and around " local travel , within the city limits (or area covered by the issued unlimited transit subsidy.)

  4. The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100–503 amended the Privacy Act of 1974 to protect the subjects of Privacy Act records whose records are used in automated matching programs. Before covered computer matches (that may result in adverse action against match subjects) can be conducted, the required Federal Register notice, computer matching agreement, and reports for OMB and Congress must be approved.

1.32.15.1.2  (04-23-2013)
Definitions

  1. Carpool - Highway vehicle that seats less than six adults and one driver.

  2. Cash Reimbursement - A subsidy instrument (check) issued to reimburse transit expense, in those instances when the transit subsidy is not accepted or available.

  3. Detail -Temporary assignment of an employee to a different position for a specified period, with the employee returning to regular duties, at the end of the detail. This includes positions at higher of lower grades.

  4. Distribution Site - An IRS site where participants can pick up their transit subsidy.

  5. Fare Media Distributor (FMD) - Individual who is responsible for informing participants in their POD of all scheduled mailings of fare media and setting up distribution sites. They also track and maintain records of distributed fare media, using established procedures.

  6. Local Transit Authority - An area vendor that provides transportation.

  7. Non-Temporary Work Location - A location where employment is realistically expected to last more than one year, or there is no realistic expectation that it will last for one year or less, regardless of whether it actually exceeds a year.

  8. Post of Duty (POD) - An employee’s assigned work location.

  9. Private Van Pool - A privately owned highway vehicle that seats at least six adults and one driver and uses 80% of total mileage to transport to and from work. On trips for this purpose, the number of riders must be at least 50% of the adult seating capability, not including the driver.

  10. Public Transportation - Transportation provided in a mass transit vehicle or commuter highway vehicle. Public transportation vehicles include privately owned and operated van pools and bus pools.

  11. Standard Employee Identifier (SEID) - A computer generated alpha numeric string that provides a unique identifier for each IRS employee, eliminating the need for social security number identification. SEID numbers are found on the Discovery Directory or Outlook.

  12. Subsidized Parking Space - A space that is specifically assigned to an employee and paid for by the Service.

  13. Time-Sensitive Fare Media - A fare payment for use within a specified time frame, i.e. monthly subsidy and annual subsidy.

  14. Transit Subsidy/Voucher - A benefit to offset public transportation commuting cost, to and from work. A non-cash instrument that is either accepted by the local transit authority, as fare payment, or exchanged for an acceptable form of payment. It is tax free and issued in advance.

  15. Unlimited Transit Pass -A media that allows passengers of the service to take either a certain number of pre-purchased trips or unlimited trips within a fixed period of time. The pass can be an unlimited monthly or annual subsidy.

1.32.15.2  (04-23-2013)
Responsibilities

  1. Agency Wide Shared Services, Employee Support Services, Travel Services Branch, provides program oversight for the agency's Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP). The PTSP function will:

    1. Administer the contract with the Department of Transportation.

    2. Provide technical advice and assistance to customers and stakeholders.

    3. Perform program reviews.

    4. Ensure there is no disclosure of Privacy Act protected PTSP information to a contractor before first securing the approval of the Offices of Governmental Liaison and Disclosure and Mission Assurance. See IRM 11.3.24, Disclosures to Contractors, for requirements.

    5. Ensure there is no computer matching of PTSP participants' records, without first securing approval of the Office of Governmental Liaison and Disclosure. This is especially critical if there is potential for adversely affecting the participants. See IRM 11.3.39, Disclosure of Official Information - Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act, for requirements.

    6. Ensure separating employees are removed from the IRS program.

    7. Provide website for distribution schedules impacting participants nationwide: (http://erc.web.irs.gov/docs/2002/awss/cs/ptsp/erc-state.htm).

  2. The Department of Transportation (DOT) performs the following tasks for IRS under an interagency agreement:

    1. Process applications and maintain a record of active participants.

    2. Disburse transit subsidies.

    3. Maintain records of subsidy disbursements.

    4. Provide administrative reports of disbursement activity.

    5. Coordinate with local transit authorities.

  3. IRS Fare Media Distributors (FMD) will ensure the successful disbursement of the transit subsidy within their geographic area. This includes coordinating the space and logistics for the distribution of the transit subsidy, and communicating with participants about the scheduled distribution dates, times, and locations. Distribution schedules and contact names may be found at the PTSP Distribution website: (http://erc.web.irs.gov/docs/2002/awss/cs/ptsp/erc-state.htm).
    It is not the responsibility of the FMD to resolve PTSP issues of the participants. The FMD should inform participants that their PTSP issues may be forwarded to the ERC. In order to contact the ERC, please go the ERC website: (http://erc.web.irs.gov) and select OS GetServices; select Order from the Product & Services Catalog; and then select Other Services – Travel – PTSP and PTSP Questions & Assistance.

  4. Participants' Responsibilities:

    1. Follow program guidance by completing ELMS Briefing 19239 within 30 days of initial enrollment or re-enrolling into the program.

    2. Ensure proper use of the benefit. It is used only for the commute between the participant’s residence and work location. The work location can be the permanent POD or detailed location. Therefore, it must not be sold or transferred to another individual.

    3. Ensure the benefit requested and received is the proper amount. The amount of transit subsidy must not exceed the actual monthly commuting cost by public transportation.

    4. In cases of excess subsidy, return the unused transit subsidy, by using PTSP Participant Return of the Fare Media, Form 11664-G, or request fewer subsidies at the next distribution.

    5. Ensure adjustments are made to transit subsidy amounts when there are changes to commuting costs, work schedule, contact information, manager, or home/work address.

    6. Ensure parking expenses are not included as part of the commuting costs.

    7. Ensure participants are not receiving both a transit benefit and a parking benefit.

    8. Return subsidy received in advance, upon separation from the Service.

    9. If the above responsibilities are not met, the participant may be withdrawn from the program.

  5. Management Responsibilities:

    1. Ensure the employees are eligible

    2. Complete the PTSP Awareness Briefing, Item 19239, on ELMS.

    3. Approve any PTSP Forms in OS GetServices in a timely fashion; PTSP Enrollment Form, PTSP Change/Update Form or PTSP Recertification Form.

    4. Assist separating employees to withdraw from PTSP and ensure passes are returned to local FMD in those PODS that utilize passes.

    5. Follow telework definitions.

    6. Support employees to ensure recertification is completed timely when it is requested by PTSP.

    7. Ensure participants are using their PTSP subsidy appropriately in accordance with applicable guidelines.

  6. The IRS Employee Resource Center (ERC) serves as the first contact point for employees' questions or concerns with PTSP. The ERC provides program information on their website, along with a ticketing feature for requesting assistance. The ERC web address is (http://erc.web.irs.gov/).

  7. The PTSP Office conducts periodic audits of participant accounts to ensure the subsidies are used in accordance with applicable guidelines. Instances of inappropriate use of PTSP are referred to TIGTA for further investigation action.

1.32.15.3  (04-23-2013)
Policy and Eligibility

  1. To be eligible to receive an IRS PTSP transit subsidy benefit, employees must use public transportation to commute between their residence and their permanent POD, non-temporary work location or detail location.

  2. The transit subsidy benefit is equal to the participants' actual monthly commuting cost, up to the maximum of $ 245.00 per month, regardless of the number of days the public transportation is used.

    FOR TAX YEAR 2013, THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER RELIEF ACT OF 2012 INCREASED THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS), EXCLUSION FROM INCOME, FOR MASS TRANSIT TO BE IN PARITY WITH PARKING BENEFITS. AS A RESULT, THE MAXIMUM SUBSIDY ALLOWANCE WILL INCREASE FROM $125.00, PER MONTH, TO $245.00, PER MONTH. THE TEMPORARY INCREASE TO THE MONTHLY PUBLIC TRANSIT FARE LIMIT WILL EXPIRE ON DECEMBER 31, 2013 AND REVERT BACK TO $125.00, IF ANOTHER ACT IS NOT PASSED.

    PTSP participants must submit a PTSP Recertification Form to adjust their actual commuting costs.

1.32.15.3.1  (04-23-2013)
Employees Covered

  1. The program is open to all eligible IRS and Chief Counsel employees.

  2. Part-time users of public transportation may apply, as the transit benefit is determined by actual commuting costs and not the number of days used.

  3. Summer Interns, paid by IRS, must have a SEID number before they can enroll in PTSP and receive benefits.

  4. Eligible participants are not entitled to benefits during the time they are:

    1. On official business travel.

    2. On full day of leave or AWS day.

    3. Working a full day from home.

    4. On jury duty.

    5. Using a government-owned vehicle to commute to work.

    6. Using an IRS-subsidized parking space or IRS assigned parking permit.

    7. Using a carpool to commute to and/or from work.

    8. In non-pay status (Furlough or LWOP).

    9. Exiting the program or leaving the Service.

    10. If the above requirements are not followed, participants may be withdrawn from the program.

1.32.15.3.2  (04-23-2013)
Individuals Not Covered

  1. Contractors, contract employees, volunteers and others not listed on the IRS payroll are specifically excluded from participating in this program.

1.32.15.3.3  (04-23-2013)
Transportation Authorized

  1. Acceptable modes of public transportation are bus, ferry, train and van pools, public commercial or private.

  2. Private van pools are acceptable only if they meet the following criteria:

    1. Any highway vehicle with a seating capacity of at least six adults, not including the driver.

    2. At least 80% of the mileage is for transporting employees between their residence and their permanent POD, non-temporary work location or detail location.

    3. The number of employees transported is at least 50% of the adult seating capacity of such vehicle, not including the driver. If the van seating capacity is six passengers, the van must operate at 50% capacity on all commutes with three passengers on board at all times, plus the driver.

1.32.15.3.4  (04-23-2013)
Parking Excluded

  1. Parking expenses, whether at a commuter lot or at/or near the workplace, are not recoverable and not considered a transit cost under PTSP.

  2. If a participant has an IRS assigned parking permit, that is non-subsidized, the local Facilities Management office may revoke the permit. The decision to revoke depends on the available parking spaces at the participant's workplace.

1.32.15.3.5  (04-23-2013)
Bicycle Program

  1. Reimbursement for the Bicycle Program is currently not a reimbursable item, under the contract with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Transportation.

1.32.15.4  (04-23-2013)
Subsidy Payment Types

  1. There are two types of subsidy payments for PTSP participants:

    1. Transit subsidy/voucher.

    2. Cash reimbursement.

  2. The type of subsidy distributed to the participant depends on:

    1. The type of transportation used, public or privately-owned.

    2. The local transit authorities acceptance of the transit subsidy.

    3. The availability of accepted transit subsidy.

  3. Generally, transit subsidy vouchers are provided to public transportation users and cash reimbursements are provided to van pool riders.

    1. The transit subsidy distribution/download takes place BEFORE incurring commuting costs.

    2. Cash reimbursement takes place AFTER incurring commuting costs.

      Note:

      Most employees in the IRS program commute to work, on public transportation, and receive transit subsidy.

1.32.15.4.1  (04-23-2013)
Transit Subsidy/Voucher

  1. Transit subsidies are first secured by DOT, from the local transit authorities, and later distributed to public transportation users. Generally, the subsidy is distributed on a quarterly basis.

  2. The type of transit subsidy that DOT distributes will vary, depending on the local transit authority. Some local transit authorities issue:

    1. Denomination certificates, which are used to purchase fare of equal value.

    2. Monthly subsidy, which are time sensitive.

    3. Annual subsidy, which are time sensitive.

  3. Transit subsidy cannot be:

    1. Exchanged for cash.

    2. Transferred from one employee to another.

    3. Given, loaned, or sold to others.

1.32.15.4.2  (04-23-2013)
Cash Reimbursement Eligibility

  1. Cash reimbursements of the actual quarterly commuting costs, up to the maximum of $245 per month, are generally paid to participants.

    1. In private van pools.

    2. In areas where the local transit authority does not accept the transit subsidy.

    3. In areas where the locally accepted transit subsidy is unavailable to DOT.

    4. In areas where a reduced price annual subsidy is unavailable to DOT.

1.32.15.5  (04-23-2013)
Benefit Calculation

  1. The IRS PTSP transit subsidy benefit is equal to the participants' actual monthly commuting cost. The maximum expense is $245 per month, regardless of the number of days that public transportation is used.

  2. Parking expenses are not considered a commuting cost under PTSP.

1.32.15.5.1  (04-23-2013)
Commuting Cost Estimate and Benefit Estimate

  1. Participants receiving an advance of the transit subsidy must estimate their commuting costs for the upcoming quarter, to ensure the appropriate benefit amount is received at the quarterly distribution.

    Example:

    200 Usual fare cost per month
    245 Maximum benefit allowed per month
    600 Benefit estimate to be received at quarterly distribution ($200 X 3 months)

1.32.15.5.2  (04-23-2013)
Adjusting the Benefit Estimate

  1. Participants are not entitled to benefits for the days they do not use public transportation to commute to and from the assigned workplace. As a result, the benefits should be adjusted accordingly.

    1. Example:

    75 Usual fare cost per month
    225 Quarterly commuting cost ($75 X 3)
    -30 Fare adjustment for planned days in travel status and on annual leave
    195 Adjusted quarterly commuting cost

1.32.15.5.3  (04-23-2013)
Estimates and Actual Costs

  1. Ideally, estimates should be as accurate as possible to avoid any overpayment or underpayment of benefit.

    1. Example:

      250 Benefit received this quarter
      250 Actual commuting cost this quarter
      0 Balance at end of quarter

1.32.15.5.4  (04-23-2013)
Overestimated Benefit

  1. If the benefit was overestimated, the balance must be returned.

    1. Example:

      735 Benefit received this quarter ($245 X 3) - Maximum Amount
      570 Actual commuting cost this quarter ($190 X 3)
      165 Balance due

  2. There are three ways to return excess transit subsidy:

    1. Return unused transit passes with Form 11664-G, PTSP Participant Return of Fare Media, to the PTSP Specialist listed on the form..

    2. Request less transit subsidy at the next distribution.

    3. Send a personal check or money order payable to U.S. Treasury. The payment should be sent to the PTSP Specialist listed on Form 11664-G. A Document Transmittal Form 3210 should be attached. The subject matter should be addressed as: "To Reimburse the IRS Account for Public Transportation Subsidy."

1.32.15.5.5  (04-23-2013)
Underestimated Benefit

  1. If the benefit was underestimated, submit Form 11664-H, PTSP Request for Supplemental Mailing of Fare Media, to receive a supplemental amount.

  2. Any long-term changes in commuting cost estimate must be reported to DOT. Participants who have access to a computer will make the changes on the on-line PTSP Changes/Updates Form, which can be located on OS GetServices. Participants who don’t have access to a computer will use the manual Form 11664-C, PTSP Change of Information.

    1. Example:

      645 Commuting cost estimate this quarter ($215 X 3)
      735 Maximum benefit ($245 per month X 3)
      645 Benefit received this quarter
      675 Actual commuting cost this quarter
      30 Out-of-pocket expense
      30 Submit Form 11664-H for supplemental amount
      30 Received
      0 Balance

1.32.15.5.6  (04-23-2013)
Cash Reimbursement Calculation

  1. Participants who receive transit subsidy benefits in arrears, with a cash reimbursement, are entitled to their actual commuting expenses, up to the maximum amount.

    1. Example:

      800 Actual commuting cost this quarter
      735 Maximum benefit ($245 per month X 3)
      735 Submitted for reimbursement
      735 Received
      0 Balance

1.32.15.5.7  (04-23-2013)
Vanpool Owner Out-of-Pocket Expense

  1. If the participant is the owner/driver of a van pool, they are reimbursed only for their out-of-pocket expenses in operating the van. The maximum allowance per month is $245, regardless of the number of days the van is used. Out-of-pocket expenses are the expenses that exceed the total fare amount received from the riders.

    1. Example:

      4,510 Actual operating cost this quarter
      4,410 Fares received this quarter from riders (6 X $735)
      100 Out-of-pocket expenses
      100 Submitted for reimbursement
      100 Received
      0 Balance

1.32.15.6  (04-23-2013)
Application Process

  1. The on-line PTSP Enrollment Form, which must be completed to enroll into the program, can be submitted at anytime. There is a continuous open season.

  2. All participants must have a SEID number.

  3. The applicant's manager of record must approve the PTSP Enrollment Form. The date of approval becomes the benefit effective date.

  4. Retroactive subsidies, prior to the effective date, are not authorized.

1.32.15.6.1  (04-23-2013)
Users of Public Transportation

  1. To apply for PTSP benefits, participants must complete the PTSP Enrollment Form, located on OS GetServices website. After accessing the website, select Order from the Product & Services Catalog, select Other Services – Travel – PTSP and PTSP Enrollment Form.

  2. The application will be routed to the manager selected on the form, and once approved, enrollment is complete and the ticket is closed.

  3. The eligibility date is the date the manager approves the application.

  4. At the end of each day, all approved applications are sent to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for processing, which may take between 1- 45 days.

  5. If the applicants’ post of duty distributes fare media on-site, the applicants should check at the next scheduled distribution to see if their subsidy is available.

  6. Participants should submit an ERC ticket, via OS GetServices: select Order from the Product & Services Catalog; select Other Services – Travel – PTSP and PTSP Questions and Assistance, to find out the status of their enrollment form. If the enrollment form was approved by the manager and the transit subsidy isn’t available, the participant should inquire about the guidelines pertaining to submitting a PTSP Cash Reimbursement, Form 11664-D, from the PTSP Specialist.

    Note:

    All new participants must take the PTSP Awareness Briefing on ELMS (ITEM 19239,) within 30 days of joining the program. PTSP subsidy will be suspended for new participants who haven't taken the PTSP Awareness Briefing within 30 days of the manager's approval of the enrollment form.

1.32.15.6.2  (04-23-2013)
Users of Private Vanpools

  1. Private van pool riders and owners/drivers must apply for PTSP benefits by completing the PTSP Enrollment Form, located on OS GetServices website. After accessing the website, select Order from the Product & Service Catalog, select Other Services – Travel – PTSP and PTSP Enrollment Form.

  2. The application will be routed to the manager selected on the form, and once approved, the enrollment is complete and the ticket is automatically closed.

  3. The eligibility date is the date the manager approves the application.

  4. At the end of each day, all approved applications are sent to DOT for processing, which may take between 1- 45 days.

  5. If the van pool does not qualify, the applicant is notified of the determination.

  6. Participants should submit an ERC ticket, via OS GetServices: select Order from the Product & Services Catalog; select Other Services – Travel – PTSP and PTSP Questions and Assistance, to find out the status of their enrollment form. If the enrollment form was approved by the manager and the transit subsidy isn’t available, the participant should inquire about the guidelines pertaining to submitting a PTSP Cash Reimbursement, Form 11664-D, from the PTSP Specialist.

    Note:

    All new participants must take the PTSP Awareness Briefing on Elms (Item 19239) within 30 days of joining the program. PTSP subsidy will be suspended for new participants that do not take the PTSP Awareness Briefing within 30 days of the manager's approval of the Enrollment Form.

1.32.15.7  (04-23-2013)
Subsidy Distribution Process

  1. If a participant is unable to attend a distribution to pick up their transit subsidy, there are two options to retrieve the subsidy:

    1. Designate a co-worker to pick up subsidy on your behalf during your absence. The PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up, Form 11664-E, will be used. This form must be the primary option.

    2. Request a supplemental distribution of the transit subsidy by using PTSP Request of Supplemental Mailing of Fare Media, Form 11664-H. The form must be filled out completely and faxed to DOT. The fax number is listed on the form. DOT will not process any incomplete forms. In addition, they will not acknowledge the receipt of the form. DOT must be in receipt of Form 11664-H, on or before the 1st day of the month, following the scheduled distribution. The processed request will be forwarded to the local Fare Media Distributor (FMD). Upon receipt of the subsidy, the FMD will contact the participant and arrange a day and time for pickup. This form is only to be used in emergency situations, which are unavoidable.

1.32.15.7.1  (04-23-2013)
Distribution of Transit Subsidy/Voucher

  1. The transit subsidy is distributed in ADVANCE of the quarter in which they are to be used.

    1. Monthly distributions are made for those locations with time sensitive monthly subsidy.

    2. Annual distributions are made for those locations with annual subsidy.

  2. If there are fewer than 250 participants in the area, DOT will mail the transit subsidy to the Fare Media Distributor (FMD) for disbursement. Upon receipt, the FMD will contact the participant that the transit subsidy is available for pickup.

  3. If there are more than 250 participants in the area, DOT agents are sent to the distribution site. They disburse the transit subsidy directly to the participants. Prior to the disbursement, the FMD will notify participants of the date, time and location of pickup.

  4. At the pickup, participants must:

    1. Present their IRS badge for identification.

    2. Sign the Form 11664-F, PTSP Signature Sheet for Up-front Monthly/Quarterly Distribution, and annotate their work phone number, SEID and manager's name.

    3. Verify the subsidy amount collected for the distribution period.

  5. Participants must safeguard the transit subsidy. Upon receipt, it becomes their property and responsibility.

    1. If lost or stolen - no refunds or replacements are authorized .

    2. If damaged or expired, contact the local transit authority, as they may accept it. If the subsidy isn't accepted by the transit authority, please return the subsidy along with Form 11664-G, PTSP Participant Return of Fare Media, to the PTSP Specialist listed on the form. Participants should include Form 3210, Document Transmittal, for an acknowledgement of receipt of their return fare media.

    3. To avoid damage, keep magnets away from the magnetic strips on the transit subsidy, and do not staple, fold, or mutilate.

    4. The subsidy with the oldest date must be used first. This prevents expired subsidy.

  6. If a participant is unable to attend a distribution to pick up their transit subsidy, they have two options to obtain subsidy:

    1. Designate a co-worker to pick up in their absence, using Form 11664-E, PTSP Authorization of Third Party Pick-up. This form must be the primary option.

    2. Request a supplemental distribution of the transit subsidy, using Form 11664-H, PTSP Request for Supplemental Mailing of Fare Media. This form is only to be used in emergency situations, which are unavoidable.

  7. Participants can only pick up the transit subsidy at their assigned POD.

  8. Supplies of transit subsidy are not maintained by the FMD or the PTSP staff.

1.32.15.7.2  (04-23-2013)
Cash Reimbursement

  1. Cash reimbursements are issued in arrears, on a quarterly basis.

  2. Participants have 30 days after the end of the quarter to submit Form 11664-D, PTSP Cash Reimbursement Certification, to the Public Transportation Subsidy Specialist for reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in the previous quarter. If the faxed or electronic Form 11664-D is not received by the 30th day after the end of the quarter, the request will be denied. If a mailed Form 11664-D is not postmarked by the 30th day after the end of the quarter, the request will be denied. All denied requests are final.

  3. The PTSP Specialist will review all cash reimbursement requests prior to processing. The request must be within the guidelines and have all the required information in order to be processed. The reimbursement convenience check is sent out to the participant after the Form 11664-D has been reviewed, approved and processed.

  4. Cash reimbursements are not authorized for participants who failed to go to the scheduled distribution, didn’t retrieve funds timely from TRANServe Debit Card or didn’t submit a PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up, Form 11664-E. Public Law 103-172 states that cash can only be issued when fare media is not readily available.

  5. New participants may receive a cash reimbursement from their eligibility date to the date of their first distribution, if their application hasn't been processed by DOT. Each new applicant's situation will vary based on location, date application was approved and date of next distribution.

1.32.15.8  (04-23-2013)
Separating Employees

  1. After processing of personnel separating actions, the separating employee is removed from the program and loses eligibility for the IRS PTSP.

  2. The separating employee will return pro-rated portion of subsidy received in advance, along with Form 11664-G, PTSP Participant Return of Fare Media, to the PTSP Specialist listed on the form.

  3. Instructions for computing pro-rata amounts are found in Section 1.32.15.5.4 - Overestimated Benefit.

1.32.15.8.1  (04-23-2013)
Withdrawing From the Program

  1. Participants who no longer desire to participate in the program should withdraw from the program. If they desire to rejoin at a later time, they must submit a new application.

  2. The following steps must be followed to withdraw from the program:

    1. Participants without computer access may use the manual Form 11664-C, Change of Information. The “I Elect to Withdraw from the Public Transportation Subsidy Program” box should be checked. This form should be faxed to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The fax number is listed on the form. Once received by DOT, the participant will be withdrawn from the program.

    2. Participants with computer access may send an email to the *AWSS-ESS-TSB-PTSP Routing mailbox to notify the PTSP staff of their departure. The effective date will be the date of the email, unless a different date is specified. The PTSP staff will notify DOT to have the participant withdrawn from the program.

  3. If participants have any unused subsidy at the time of departure, they should complete manual Form 11664-G, PTSP Return of Fare Media. The form and unused media should be mailed to the PTSP Specialist listed on the form. This includes participants who have money stored on a transit fare card or in a third party account. It is the participant’s responsibility to contact the transit authority or third party for a refund. Note: This does not include participants who use SmarTrip fare cards. Funds are automatically returned to the agency at the end of the month.

  4. Participants that haven’t picked up subsidy within 12 months will be automatically withdrawn from the system by the Department of Transportation.

1.32.15.9  (04-23-2013)
Descriptions of PTSP Forms

  1. PTSP Enrollment Form (Including Private Van Pool)
    - On-line Form located on OS GetServices (The new on-line enrollment form replaces manual Forms 11664-A and 11664-B).

    • Go to the OS GetServices Website.

    • Select Order from the Product and Services Catalog

    • Select Other Services, Travel, PTSP and PTSP Enrollment Form

    • Complete all fields, scroll up to top of screen.

    • Save Details, View Cart and Submit Request.

    • Under Reason Request, select "To Apply for PTSP Benefits".

    • Complete the detail screen. All required fields must be entered or N/A selected.

    • The ticket/application will be routed to the manager selected.

    • Manager will approve or disapprove.

    • Once approved by the manager, enrollment into the program is complete and the ticket is automatically closed.

    • Closed tickets cannot be reopened.

    • The eligibility date is the date the manager approved the application.

    • At the end of each day, all applications are exported into a file and sent to the Department of Transportation (DOT) for processing.

    • DOT will process the application between 1- 45 days. If the application has been processed, participant should go to the next scheduled distribution.

    • Participant should submit an ERC ticket, via OS Get Services, PTSP Questions & Assistance, to find out the status of their enrollment. If the transit subsidy isn't available, the participant should inquire about the guidelines pertaining to submitting a PTSP Cash Reimbursement Certification, Form 11664-D, for cash reimbursement from the PTSP Specialist.

    • Furloughed participants that return after being gone more then six months, must complete a new enrollment when they return. An automatic withdrawal, by DOT, will be done for participants who haven't picked up within six months. Furloughed participants that return to work prior to six months, will not have to enroll again.

    • A new enrollment form must be completed when a participant relocates to a new area, which results in a change from one transit authority to another.

  2. PTSP Annual Recertification Form - On-line Form located on OS GetServices

    • The form is submitted by participants to change their commuting cost estimate or personal program information.

    • All participants will recertify their eligibility during a staggered recertification schedule.

    • View step by step instructions to assist in completing the PTSP Annual Recertification Form.

    • There will be situations where PTSP participants may need to use someone else's computer to submit their on-line enrollment, recertification form or have another employee complete their on- line form.

    • It is very important for participants and assistants to correctly complete the " Requested For " section, on the on-line form. The "Requested For" section should be completed first and then all the mandatory fields, annotated with a red arrow.

  3. PTSP Change of Information - Form 11664-C (Manual Form)

    • The form is used for participants that do not have access to a computer. Participants submit the form to change their commuting cost estimate, personal program information or withdraw from the program. If a participant is relocating or changing transit systems, they must withdraw from the program and submit a new application. The form must be faxed to DOT for processing. The fax number is listed on the form. This form should not be used if the participant has access to a computer. Computer users should use the on-line PTSP Changes and Updates Form, via OS GetServices.

    1. PTSP Changes/Updates Form (Electronic Form)

    • The electronic form is used for participants who have access to a computer. Participants submit the form to change their commuting cost estimate or personal program information. If a participant is relocating or changing transit systems, they must withdraw from the program and submit a new application, after the personnel action has been processed. Electronically submit to DOT for processing via OS Services.

  4. PTSP Cash Reimbursement Certification - Form 11664-D

    1. Submitted by participants at the end of each quarter, in those instances when the transit subsidy is not accepted or available.

    2. Completed certification forms are sent to the IRS PTSP staff for processing.

    3. Participants will receive the reimbursement check by mail.

    4. Cash reimbursements are not authorized for participants who failed to go to the distribution, didn’t download funds from the TRANServe Debit Card or didn’t submit a PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up, Form 11664-E.

  5. PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up - Form 11664-E

    1. Manual form prepared and signed by the participant and given to a designated co-worker, authorizing them to pick up their transit subsidy, on their behalf. An authorized employee may pick up subsidy for up to 20 absent participants. This form is generally used when participants are attending a training class during distribution. This form must be the primary option.

  6. PTSP Signature Sheet for Up-Front Monthly/Quarterly Distribution - Form 11664-F

    1. DOT or FMD will present this form to participants at the transit subsidy distribution.

    2. Participants sign the form indicating receipt and acceptance of the transit subsidy

    3. FMD must obtain signature sheet for audit purposes.

  7. PTSP Participant Return of the Fare Media - Form 11664-G

    1. Submitted when participant separates from the Service.

    2. Participant withdraws from the program.

    3. Transit subsidy is damaged or expired.

    4. Participant overestimated and received more transit subsidy than entitled to.


    The participant will send Form 11664-G and the transit subsidy to the PTSP Specialist listed on the form.

  8. PTSP Request for Supplemental Mailing of Fare Media - Form 11664-H

    1. Submitted when participant missed the distribution and had no designee.

    2. Participant was omitted from DOT's distribution list.

    3. Participant underestimated and received less transit subsidy than entitled to.

    4. This form is only to be used in emergency situations, which are unavoidable.


    The participant will fax the form to DOT for processing. The fax number is listed on the form.

  9. PTSP Transit Expense Worksheet – Form 11664-W

    1. A worksheet used to assist participants in accurately calculating their monthly commuting costs.

1.32.15.10  (04-23-2013)
Annual Recertification

  1. PTSP Participants are required to annually recertify their PTSP benefits, through the submission of an electronic recertification, through the OS GetServices website.

  2. Participants will receive scheduled email reminders pertaining to the effective date of their PTSP recertification.

  3. Provisions will be made for participants that do not have access to a computer or are in non-work status, to ensure they complete the PTSP Annual Recertification.

  4. If a participant fails to complete their PTSP Annual Recertification, their PTSP benefits will be suspended. The suspended individual can enroll again, at any time, back into the program.

  5. PTSP staff will ensure that all guidelines and procedures are applied consistently to reduce the possibility of inappropriate use of the program.

1.32.15.11  (04-23-2013)
SmartBenefits

  1. SmartBenefits is a web-based program used only in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The Department of Transportation (DOT) uses this program to ensure that funds are available for the active participants each month, through auto load. Participants will no longer need to load their SmartBenefits onto their SmarTrip card, at a fare card or pass machine. With auto load, the benefits will automatically load into the participant’s account. The SmarTrip card will access the participant’s account and deduct the fare when the card is tapped to a Metrorail fare gate or bus fare box.

  2. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) requires federal agencies to use SmartBenefits, as the primary means of providing transit benefits. The benefit is for commuting between the participant’s residence and workplace.

  3. All participants in the Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) are required to purchase the SmarTrip card for a fee of $5.00, register with Metro and enroll in the SmartBenefits program.

  4. Federal employees must have a Metro Registered SmarTrip Card. Participants can register on-line at SmarTrip On-Line Registration Form or by phone, 1-888-762-7874. It is impossible to apply benefits to a SmarTrip account without a registered SmarTrip card. The card will be mailed the next business day. Please allow five days to receive it in the mail.

  5. Once the SmarTrip Card is registered, the Department of Transportation must be notified of the number. New participants must complete the PTSP Enrollment Form on OS GetServices and include the number on the form. Active participants who need to add or change the number should complete the PTSP Changes/Updates Form, on OS GetServices and include the number on the form. DOT must receive the information by the 10th of the month, preceding the needed change. Otherwise, the update will be delayed until the next month.

  6. The SmarTrip Card can be replaced, if lost or stolen, without losing any of the fare value. The participant must purchase a new card and register it with Metro, 1-888-762-7874. Metro will transfer the balance to a new SmarTrip Card, deduct $5.00 for the card and mail the new card to the participant. In addition, the participant will have to submit a PTSP Question & Assistance Form, through OS GetServices, indicating that the funds should be transferred to a new SmarTrip Card.

  7. The SmarTrip Auto load became effective on December 1, 2011. As a result, the SmarTrip Card will have three “Purses”. In compliance with the Internal Revenue Ruling 2006-57, WMATA made program changes to the SmarTrip Card. Fare Purse: The benefit received from the IRS/SmartBenefits for transportation will be downloaded on the 1st of each month to the fare purse. Funds not used by the end of the month will be expired and cannot be restored. Parking Purse: The participant may need to add money to the SmarTrip Card for parking. Personal Purse: If and when those funds are exhausted, payments will be deducted from the personal stored value purse. The personal stored valued purse allows the participant to load additional amounts to cover either transit or parking.

  8. Auto load also works on Metrorail, as well as Metro bus and regional bus systems: ART, CUE, DASH, DC Circulator, Fairfax Connector, Loudoun County Transit, PRTC, Omni Ride, Ride On and The Bus. Auto load will not have an affect on MARC, VRE, or MTA bus riders. .

1.32.15.12  (04-23-2013)
Detail

  1. Temporary assignment of an employee to a different position for a specified period, with the employee returning to regular duties at the end of the detail. This includes positions at higher or lower grades. Based on the circumstances below, the following details are now a reimbursable expense under PTSP.

  2. Employees detailed to positions for 90-days or more and who are not already enrolled in the IRS PTSP program, and who commute from their residence to a location other than their post of duty (POD) or while on temporary duty station (TDY), shall be able to apply for PTSP benefits.

  3. Employees detailed to positions for 90-days or more and who are already enrolled in the IRS PTSP program, and who commute from their residence to a location other than their post of duty (POD) or while on temporary duty station (TDY), shall be eligible for PTSP benefits. Participants may amend/modify their existing PTSP benefits following current PTSP procedures, as appropriate.

  4. The procedures for applying for and amending PTSP benefits will not change. Nor will any changes be made to the current practices and procedures regarding employee over-estimation of transit subsidies.

1.32.15.13  (04-23-2013)
Unlimited Transit Pass

  1. PTSP participants in cities/locales which issue unlimited transit passes shall be able to immediately begin to use their unlimited transit pass to perform local "in and around" travel, within the city limits (or area covered by the issued unlimited transit pass). This will be in place of requiring employees to submit local travel vouchers for reimbursement.

  2. This procedure is voluntary. Participants may opt to continue to use the existing process by submitting local travel authorizations and vouchers for reimbursements, or other benefits available while on TDY for commute from their residence to a location other than their POD.

  3. Under this new process, participants cannot use unlimited PTSP transit subsidy benefits and file a local travel voucher.

  4. Employees' PTSP benefits may not exceed the maximum monthly transit costs limitation. PTSP participants who receive limited subsidies and who are not covered by the above circumstances must continue to submit local travel authorizations and requests for reimbursement.

1.32.15.14  (04-23-2013)
TRANServe Debit Card

  1. In partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase, TRANServe has implemented a program to deliver transit benefits to participants through use of a Visa-branded federal debit card. The TRANServe Debit Card provides a green, cost-efficient, all electronic method for employees to receive their monthly transit benefit and purchase fare media.

  2. Debit cards have successfully been rolled out to some cities throughout the nation. Other locations are being reviewed to see if they are suitable for the debit card program. Participants will be notified when the debit card will be utilized in their area.

  3. After distribution of the debit cards, participants will call J.P. Morgan’s automated customer service, 1-866-891-6951, to activate the debit card. The following information is needed to activate the debit card: work phone number, work zip code and common identifier. The participant’s actual work phone number will not be used. The following number, 000-000-0000, should be used as the work phone number. The zip code of the participant's POD will be used. The SEID will be used as the common identifier.

  4. The debit card is funded on the 10th of each month for the upcoming month. Participants can use the card to purchase media for the upcoming month from the 10th of the current month to the 9th of the following month. The unused funds will be removed from the card on the 10th of every month. Example: Funds for February will be loaded on January 10th and must be used by February 9th. If the funds are not used by February 9th, the outstanding funds will be removed from the card on February 10th.

  5. Even though the card is classified as a TRANServe Debit Card, it should be used as a credit card. Therefore, the selection type will always be credit card and not debit card.

  6. Participants cannot receive a cash reimbursement if they forget to retrieve the funds from their debit cards. Restoration cannot be done for unused funds.


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