1.32.15 Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP)

Manual Transmittal

October 24, 2017

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.32.15, Servicewide Travel Policies and Procedures Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP).

Material Changes

(1) IRM was changed to reflect the dollar value in the transit subsidy benefit.

(2) The TRANServe Card is the primary vehicle used to purchase commuting benefits.

(3) IRM 1.32.15., Program Scope and Objectives added to conform to the new internal control requirements described in IRM 1.11.2, Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) Process. Also, rearranged and updated existing IRM content to place information involving internal controls for the IRM under this subsection.

(4) IRM. 1.32.15.1.2, Authorities, added.

(5) IRM 1.32.15.1. 3, Responsibilities, updated to better identify responsibilities as they relate to the Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP).

(6) IRM 1.32.15.1.3.3, Director, Travel Services Office, (e) and (f) were removed.

(7) IRM 1.32.15.1.3.6, Participants, changed the order and combined some subjects.

(8) IRM 1.32.15.1.3.7, Management, last sentence changed.

(9) 1.32.15.1.3.9, Public Transportation Subsidy Program Office, added.

(10) IRM 1.32.15.1.6, Terms/Definitions, added.

(11) IRM 1.32.15.1.6. (c), Commuter Highway and (q) Vanpool, have been combined under one title, Commuter Highway Vehicle/Vanpool using the vanpool definition.

(12) IRM 1.32.15.1.7, Acronyms, added

(13) 1.32.15.2, Policy and Eligibility, updated to reflect current process.

(14) IRM 1.32.15.2.1, Employees Covered, updated to reflect current listing of employees covered.

(15) IRM 1.32.15.2.2, Individuals Not Covered, updated to reflect current listing of employees not covered.

(16) IRM 1.32.15.3.4, Parking Excluded, and 1.32.15.3.5, Bicycle Program, updated title to Transportation Costs not Authorized and moved to 1.32.15.2.4.

  1. Added, (4) UBER and LYFT are not authorized modes of transportation under PTSP.

(17) IRM 1.32.15.4, Subsidy Payments Types, updated to reflect current process and moved to 1.32.15.3.

(18) IRM 1.32.15.4.1, Transit Subsidy/Voucher, updated title to Transit Subsidy, updated to reflect current and moved to 1.32.15.3.1.

(19) IRM 1.32.15.4.2, Cash Reimbursement Eligibility, updated title to Cash Reimbursement Benefit, and moved to 1.32.15.3.2.

(20) IRM 1.32.15.5, Benefit Calculation, IRM 1.32.15.5.1, Commuting Cost Estimate and Benefit Estimate, 1.32.15.5.2, Adjusting the Benefit Estimate, 1.32.15.5.3, Estimates and Actual Costs, 1.32.15.5.4, Overestimated Benefit, 1.32.15.5, updated title to Calculating/Adjusting Benefits (Applies Only to Participants Who are Receiving Quarterly Transit Vouchers),removed tables and moved to IRM 1.32.15.4.

(21) IRM 1.32.15.5.7, Vanpool Owner Out-of -Pocket Expenses, updated title to Vanpool Owner Out-of-Pocket Expenses and moved to 1.32.15.5.

(22) IRM 1.32.15.6, Application Process and 1.32.15.6.1, Users of Public Transportation, updated title to Application Process, updated to reflect current process and moved to 1.32.15.6.

(23) IRM 1.32.15.6.1, Users of Private Vanpools, updated title to Vanpools, updated to reflect current process and moved to 1.32.15.6.1.

(24) IRM 1.32.15.6.2, Public/Private Vanpool Guidance, added.

(25) IRM 1.32.15.7, Subsidy Distribution Process, updated title to Subsidy Distribution Process for Vouchers and moved to IRM 1.32.15.7.

(26) 1.32.15.7.1, Distribution of Transit Subsidy/Voucher, updated title to Distribution of Transit Subsidy.

(27) IRM 1.32.15.7.2, Cash Reimbursement, updated to reflect current process and moved to 1.32.15.7.2.

(28) IRM 1.32.15.8.1, Withdrawing from the Program, updated to reflect current process.

(29) IRM 1.32.15.9, Descriptions of PTSP Forms, updated title to Descriptions of On-line Forms, updated for clarity.

(30) IRM 1.32.15.9, PTSP Manual Forms, added and moved to IRM 1.32.15.9.1.

(31) IRM.1.32.15.10, Annual Recertification, updated for clarity.

(32) IRM 1.32.15.11, SmartBenefits, updated for clarity.

(33) IRM 1.32.15.13, Unlimited Transit Pass, updated to define unlimited transfers.

(34) IRM 1.32.15.14, TRANServe Card, updated to reflect current requirements and procedures.

(35) IRM 1.32.15.15, Home Delivery of TRANServe Card, added.

(36) IRM 1.32.15.16, Senior Passes, added.

(37) IRM 1.32.15.17, IRM 1.32.15.17, added.

(38) This revision includes changes throughout the document for the following:

  1. Removal of IRM 1.32.15.5.5, Underestimated Benefit, no longer applicable.

  2. Removal of IRM 1.32.15.5.6, Cash Reimbursement Calculation, no longer applicable.

  3. Updated to remove the Chase customer service number.

  4. Added minor editorial changes.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.32.15, dated April 23, 2013, is superseded.

Audience

All Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(10-24-2017)

Ursula S. Gillis
Chief Financial Officer

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. The Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) was established to encourage employees to use public transportation when commuting to and from work.

  2. Purpose: This Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) contains policies and procedures for the Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP).To provide benefits to enrolled participants to commute from their home to their permanent Post of Duty (POD).

  3. Audience: This IRM provides information for PTSP participants, managers, National Treasury Employee Union (NTEU) and employees who need more information concerning the program.

  4. Policy Owner: Chief Financial Officer, Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Management, Director, Travel Services Office.

  5. Program Owner: Director, Travel Services Office and Public Transportation Subsidy Program Office. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Financial Management (FM), Travel Services Office develops and maintains this IRM.

  6. Primary Stakeholders: Public Transportation Subsidy Program Office and Department of Transportation.

  7. Program Goals: The PTSP program will provide monthly and quarterly benefits to employees to use for commuting to work. To provide guidance on how to enroll, use benefits, and return benefits when not in use.

Background

  1. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) was established to encourage employees to use public transportation when commuting to and from work. This action 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. The IRS will pay the transit benefits from appropriated funding, using stipulated guidelines.

  5. Transit benefits, up to the maximum nontaxable monthly limit allowed by law, are nontaxable to the participant and are not included in the Form W-2.

Authorities

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

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

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

  4. Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, USC (§) 132

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

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

Responsibilities

  1. This section lists the responsibilities for:

    1. Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Financial Officer

    2. Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Management

    3. Director, Travel Services Office

    4. Department of Transportation

    5. IRS Fare Media Distributor

    6. Participants

    7. Management

    8. IRS Employee Resource Center

    9. Public Transportation Subsidy Program Office

Chief, Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Financial Officer
  1. The CFO and Deputy Chief Financial Officer are responsible for the oversight of the PTSP Program.

Associate Chief Financial Officer for Financial Management
  1. The Associate CFO for FM is responsible for administering the PTSP Program.

Director, Travel Services Office
  1. The Director, Travel Services Office, is responsible for:

    1. Administering the contract with the Department of Transportation.

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

    3. Performing program reviews.

    4. Ensuring separating employees are removed from the IRS PTSP program.

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

    1. Processing applications and maintaining a record of active participants.

    2. Disbursing transit subsidies.

    3. Maintaining records of subsidy disbursements.

    4. Providing disbursement activity reports.

    5. Coordinating with local transit authorities.

IRS Fare Media Distributor
  1. The IRS Fare Media Distributor (FMD) is responsible for:

    1. Ensuring the successful disbursement of the transit subsidy within his/her geographic area.

    2. Receiving and distributing transit vouchers in locations where the TRANServe Card isn't accepted.

    3. Tracking and maintaining records of distributed fare media using established procedures.

    4. Informing participants that their PTSP issues may be forwarded to the Employee Resource Center (ERC).

Participants
  1. The participants are responsible for:

    1. Ensuring the PTSP Enrollment Form, PTSP Changes/Update Form and PTSP Recertification Form are submitted electronically and following up with their manager to ensure the timely approval of their form.

    2. Following program guidance by completing the PTSP Awareness Briefing 19239 on Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS), within 30 days of initial enrollment or re-enrollment into the program.

    3. Ensuring the benefit requested and received is the proper amount. The amount of transit subsidy must not exceed the employee’s actual monthly public transportation commuting cost.

    4. Ensuring proper use of the benefit. It is allowed only for the commute between the participant's residence and work location. This work location can be the permanent POD or detail location. It must not be sold or transferred to another individual.

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

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

    7. Returning the unused transit subsidy, by using Form 11664-G, PTSP Participant Return of Fare Media, or request less subsidy each month.

    8. Returning unused subsidy purchased with a TRANServe Card be handled in two ways: (1) A check or money order submitted for the unused amount along with Form 11664-G, PTSP Participant Return of Fare Media, or (2) less funds withdrawn from the TRANServe Card the next month.

    9. Returning subsidy received in advance, upon separating from the IRS.

    10. Exercising the same fiscal responsibility when purchasing transit subsidy as if it were for personal use.

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

Management
  1. Management is responsible for:

    1. Ensuring the employees are eligible.

    2. Completing the PTSP Awareness Briefing 19239 in ELMS, and ensuring their participating employees do the same.

    3. Approving the PTSP Enrollment Form, PTSP Changes/Update Form and PTSP Recertification Form in OS GetServices within 15 business days of the participant submitting the form. If the PTSP document isn't approved timely, the participant's funding will be effected.

    4. Assisting separating employees to ensure they withdraw from the program. The TRANServe Card, transit voucher, and passes should be returned to the PTSP Specialist with Form 11664-G, PTSP Return of Fare Media. Annual passes should be returned to the local FMD at those locations where participants have annual passes.

    5. Following telework requirements.

    6. Supporting employees’ timely PTSP recertifications.

    7. Ensuring participants use their PTSP subsidy in accordance with program guidelines.

    8. Ensuring participants, within reason, use the mode of transportation that is most cost effective for the government.

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

Public Transportation Subsidy Program Office
  1. The Public Transportation Subsidy Program Office is responsible for:

    1. Administering the contract with DOT.

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

    3. Performing program reviews.

    4. Ensuring separating employees are removed from the PTSP program.

    5. Ensuring parking expenses are not included as a part of the commuting costs.

    6. Conducting the annual recertification of PTSP.

Program Management and Review

  1. The PTSP Staff performs the following reviews.

    • Audit Review: A monthly random sample audit review ensures TRANServe Cards are used correctly.

    • DOT Funding Reports: These reports are received monthly and upon request from the Department of Transportation (DOT). They are reviewed to keep IRS abreast of the financial status of the PTSP program.

    • Excess Fare Media: A daily review of newly completed forms ensures the accuracy and determines whether participants are using the correct amount of fare media.

    • PTSP Daily Document Forms: A daily review ensures the information on PTSP documents, enrollment form, change form and recertification is correct.

    • Quality Review: A quarterly random review ensures the PTSP staff are complying with the program and providing quality responses to the PTSP participants.

    • Recertification: An annual review to ensure PTSP participants review and recertify their PTSP benefits.

    • Return of Fare Media: A review is done of all participants instructed to repay the government because of improper use of fare media.

    • Withdrawal Review: A monthly review ensures all separated PTSP participants are removed from the PTSP database.

Program Controls

  1. The following controls are in place to ensure compliance.

    • Excess Fare Media: Participants are notified by e-mail to submit a new form with the correct amount of subsidy needed.

    • Quality Review: Based on the findings, the manager will address issues with the PTSP staff.

    • Recertification: Participants are automatically suspended from the PTSP program if they fail to complete the PTSP Annual Recertification Form within the required timeframe.

    • Return of Fare Media: Participants must reimburse the government, via check or money order, for improper use of fare media.

    • Withdrawal: A PTSP staff member will remove separated PTSP participants if they are still in the PTSP database.

Terms/Definitions

  1. In this IRM, the terms below have the following meanings.

    1. Carpool - An arrangement between people to make a regular journey in a single vehicle, typically with each person taking turns driving.

    2. Cash Reimbursement - An electronic payment deposited to a participant’s bank account of record to reimburse transit expenses when the transit pass is not readily available.

    3. Commuter Highway Vehicle/Vanpool - 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.

    4. 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 equal, higher, or lower grades.

    5. Distribution Site - An IRS site where participants can pick up their transit subsidy from a Fare Media Distributor (FMD).

    6. Fare Media Distributor (FMD) - Individual responsible for receiving and distributing transit vouchers in locations where the TRANServe Card isn’t accepted. The FMD also tracks and maintains records of distributed fare media using established procedures.

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

    8. 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.

    9. Post of Duty (POD) - A place where an employee regularly performs his or her duties.

    10. Public Transportation - Transportation provided in a mass transit vehicle or commuter highway vehicle. Acceptable modes of public transportation are: bus, ferry, subway, train, and vanpool.

    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 in Outlook.

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

    13. Time-Sensitive Fare Media- A fare payment for use within a specified timeframe, e.g., monthly subsidy.

    14. TRANServe Card - A card that provides transit benefits electronically. The primary goal of the TRANServe Card is to use a single fare media delivery system that offers enhanced internal controls to preserve the transit benefit by deterring waste, fraud, and abuse.

    15. Transit Pass/Voucher - 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. Vouchers are used in areas that do not accept the TRANServe Card.

    16. Unlimited Transit Pass - A media that allows public transit passengers to take either a certain number of pre-purchased trips or unlimited trips within a fixed time period, such as an unlimited monthly pass.

Acronyms

  1. The following chart contains acronyms that are used throughout this IRM.

    ACRONYMS DESCRIPTION
    CFO Chief Financial Officer
    DOT Department of Transportation
    ELMS Enterprise Learning Management System
    ERC Employee Resource Center
    FMD Fare Media Distributor
    FM Financial Management
    POD Post of Duty
    PTSP Public Transportation Subsidy Program
    SEID Standard Employee Identifier
    TDY Temporary Duty Station
    TIGTA Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Related Resources

  1. Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2012-24, Electronic Benefits.

  2. The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988, Pub. L. No. 100-03, 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.

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

  4. IRS/NTEU Letter of Understanding, dated October 20, 2000, discusses the Servicewide implementation of the PTSP.

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

  6. RS/NTEU Memorandum of Understanding, dated May 5, 2003, discusses the channeling of customer service requests to the Employee Resource Center.

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

  8. IRS/NTEU Letter of Understanding, dated August 3, 2010, discusses the allowance for details, 90-days or more, and the use of the unlimited transit subsidy to perform "in and around" local travel within the city limits (or area covered by the issued unlimited transit subsidy.)

Policy and Eligibility

  1. To be eligible to receive an IRS PTSP transit 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 participant’s actual monthly commuting cost, up to the maximum nontaxable monthly amount allowed by law, http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000193740, regardless of the number of days the public transportation is used.

  3. To remain eligible in the program, PTSP participants must submit a PTSP Recertification Form annually to adjust their actual commuting costs.

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, Extended Leave or LWOP).

    9. Exiting the program or leaving the IRS.

    10. On a detail less than 90 days.

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

Individuals Not Covered

  1. The following employees are not eligible for PTSP:

    • Volunteers, including unpaid interns

    • Contractors or contract employees

    • Employees on intermittent work schedules

    • Others not listed on the IRS payroll

Transportation Authorized

  1. Acceptable modes of public transportation are: bus, ferry, subway, train, and vanpool.

  2. Private vanpools 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 at least three passengers on board at all times, plus the driver, after all riders have been picked up.

    4. Vanpool participants who have the TRANServe Card must use the card for vanpool payments. The vanpool driver must setup a Merchant Account with their bank to accept payments from the TRANServe Card.

Transportation Costs Not Authorized

  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.

  3. The Bicycle Program is not currently reimbursable under the contract between the IRS and DOT.

  4. UBER, LYFT, and similar services are not authorized modes of transportation under PTSP.

Subsidy Payment Types

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

    1. TRANServe Card

    2. Transit voucher (available only for locations that do not accept the TRANServe Card)

    3. Cash reimbursement

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

    1. The local transit authorities acceptance of the transit subsidy

    2. The availability of accepted transit subsidy

  3. The TRANServe Card upload and the Transit voucher distribution take place before incurring commuting costs.

  4. Cash reimbursement takes place after incurring out-of-pocket commuting costs.

Transit Subsidy

  1. Transit subsidies are first secured by DOT from the local transit authorities and later distributed to public transportation users. Transit subsidy vouchers are mailed every four months.

  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 is 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.

Cash Reimbursement Benefit

  1. The transit subsidy benefit is equal to the participant’s actual monthly commuting cost, up to the maximum nontaxable monthly amount allowed by law, http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000193740.

Calculating/Adjusting Benefits(Applies Only to Participants Who are Receiving Quarterly Transit Vouchers)

  1. The IRS PTSP transit subsidy benefit is equal to the participant’s actual monthly commuting cost. The maximum transit subsidy amount is determined by Congress each calendar year. Please click on the link below to display the maximum amount. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000193740.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. If the benefit was overestimated, the balance must be returned. There are three ways to return excess transit subsidy:

    1. Return unused transit passes with Form 11664-G, PTSP 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 Internal Revenue Service. 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.”

Vanpool Owner Out of Pocket Expenses

  1. If the participant is the owner/driver of a vanpool, they may be reimbursed only for out-of-pocket expenses in operating the van limited to the maximum allowance per month allowed by law, http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000193740.

Application Process

  1. All participants must have a SEID number before enrolling into PTSP.

  2. To apply for PTSP benefits, participants must complete the PTSP Enrollment Form, located on the OS GetServices website. After accessing the website, select Order from the Product & Services Catalog, select Business and Department Services, - Travel - PTSP, and PTSP Enrollment Form. There is a continuous open season.

  3. The applicant’s manager of record must approve the PTSP Enrollment Form. The application will be routed to the manager selected on the form for approval. The date of approval becomes the benefit effective date. Once approved, the enrollment is complete and the ticket is closed automatically.

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

  5. At the end of each day, all approved applications are sent to DOT for processing. The processing time is up to 21 days for new program applicants and up to 40 days for existing applicants.

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

  7. Participants should submit an ERC ticket via OS GetServices, select Order from the Product & Services Catalog, select Business and Department 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 Form 11664-D, PTSP Cash Reimbursement, from the PTSP Specialist.

  8. All new participants must take the PTSP Awareness Briefing 19239 in ELMS within 30 days of joining the program. The PTSP subsidy will be suspended for new participants who do not take the PTSP Awareness Briefing within 30 days of the manager's approval of the enrollment form.

Vanpools

  1. Vanpool riders 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 Business and Department 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 closed automatically.

  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. The processing time is up to 21 days for new program applicants and up to 40 days for existing applicants.

  5. Participants should submit an ERC ticket via OS GetServices, select Order from the Product & Services Catalog, select Business and Department 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 Form 11664-D, PTSP Cash Reimbursement, from the PTSP Specialist.

  6. Vanpool drivers must set up a merchant bank account with their banks. This is needed to retrieve the funds from the TRANServe Card. Vanpool participants receive their transit benefit via the TRANServe Card.

  7. All new participants must take the PTSP Awareness Briefing 19239 in ELMS within 30 days of joining the program. The PTSP subsidy will be suspended for new participants who do not take the PTSP Awareness Briefing within 30 days of the manager's approval of the enrollment form.

Public/Private Vanpool Guidance

  1. The primary operator may not apply for transit benefits. All federal employees in the vanpool, including the alternate, are eligible to collect transit benefits.

  2. Each vanpool will designate a primary operator who will be responsible for ensuring that the minimum requirements are met and will be the designated permit holder. One alternate operator may be named.

  3. Vanpool charges must reflect reasonable costs, and rates charged must be the same for all passengers. Rates may be reduced or waived for the designated primary driver who is not eligible to receive transit benefits. Operating expenses for lease, fuel, or tolls qualify for the benefit; maintenance and cleaning don’t qualify.

  4. If the participant’s monthly expenses are less than the maximum, only the actual monthly amount spent is authorized for subsidy.

  5. Participants may only collect transit benefits when actively riding in the vanpool. Vanpool riders may not use the transit benefit to "hold" a seat in the vanpool in excess of 10 working days per month, while on annual or sick leave.

  6. Participants choosing to commute by vanpool must pay the out-of-pocket cost to hold a seat in a vanpool in cases of extended absences (in excess of 10 working days per month) or days absent from the vanpool due to part-time or telework schedules.

Subsidy Distribution Process for Vouchers

  1. The participant receives notification from the FMD when and where the vouchers can be picked up.

  2. If a participant is unable to pick up their transit subsidy, he/she can designate a co-worker to pick up the subsidy on his/her behalf. Form 11664-E, PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up, must be completely filled out and signed by the participant.

Distribution of Transit Subsidy

  1. The transit subsidy is funded or distributed in ADVANCE by multiple methods for the timeframe it is to be used.

    1. TRANServe Cards are funded on the 10th of the month for the upcoming month.

    2. Transit vouchers are mailed to the FMD the month before the upcoming quarter

    3. Transit vouchers are only available for those areas that do not accept TRANServe Card.

  2. TRANServe Cards (original and replacements) will be mailed to the participant's home address on the PTSP form. If the mailing address is listed as the participant's POD location, the TRANServe Card will be delivered directly to the participant by the mailroom.

  3. When picking up vouchers, participants must:

    1. Present their IRS badge for identification.

    2. Sign and date Form 11664-F, PTSP Signature Sheet for Up-front Monthly/Quarterly Distribution, indicating receipt and acceptance of the Transit voucher.

    3. Verify the Transit voucher amount collected is correct for the quarter.

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

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

    2. The transit voucher with the oldest date must be used first, preventing expired subsidy.

  5. TRANServe Cards can be replaced if lost or stolen. In order to receive a replacement card, participants should call US Debit Services at 1-800-341-6700 and press "2." Hearing impaired participants should call 1-800-341-8300, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system will lead them through the automated process. The following information must be given:

    1. TRANServe Card Number - If the number isn't known, submit an ERC ticket through OS GetServices, PTSP Questions & Assistance and indicate that your card number is needed.

    2. PIN Number - The unique four-digit number that the participant selected during the activation process.

  6. Transit vouchers:

    1. Cannot be replaced or refunded if lost or stolen.

    2. If damaged or expired, contact the local transit authority, as they might accept it. If the transit voucher isn't accepted by the transit authority, please return the transit voucher 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.

  7. If a participant is unable to pick up their transit subsidy, he/she can designate a co-worker to pick up the subsidy on his/her behalf. Form 11664-E, PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up, must be completely filled out and signed by the participant.

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

  9. The FMD or PTSP staff does not maintain an inventory of undesignated Transit vouchers.

Cash Reimbursement

  1. Participants receive quarterly cash reimbursements in arrears.

  2. Participants have 30 days after the end of the quarter to submit Form 11664-D, PTSP Cash Reimbursement Certification.

  3. The PTSP Specialist will review all cash reimbursement requests before processing. The request must be within the guidelines and have all the required information to be processed. After the Form 11664-D has been reviewed, approved, and processed, an electronic payment is sent to the participant' bank account on record.

  4. Cash reimbursements are not authorized for participants who failed to go to the scheduled distribution, didn’t retrieve funds timely from their TRANServe Card, failed to complete their annual recertification of benefits timely, or didn’t submit a Form 11664-E, PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-up. 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. The eligibility date is the date the enrollment form is approved by their manager. Retroactive benefits prior to the eligibility date are not authorized.

Separating Employees

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

  2. The separating employee will return the 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.

Withdrawing from the Program

  1. Participants who no longer have a need to participate in the program should withdraw from the program.

  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 DOT at the number listed on the form. Once received by DOT, the participant will be withdrawn from the program.

    2. Participants with computer access may send an e-mail to the *CFO-FM-PTSP Routing mailbox to notify the PTSP staff of their departure. The effective date will be the date of the e-mail, unless a different date is specified. Include the SEID in the e-mail. The PTSP staff will notify DOT to have the participant withdrawn from the program.

  3. When leaving the IRS or withdrawing from the program, all unused vouchers and electronic fare media should be returned by completing Form 11664-G, PTSP Return of Fare Media. If the PTSP benefits provided have been loaded to a transit authority electronic fare card, a check or money order should be returned to the IRS for the value of the benefits loaded on the card. The check/money order should be made out to the Internal Revenue Service, along with a completed Form 11664-G, PTSP Return of Fare Media. The form and check/money order should be mailed to the PTSP Specialist listed on the form. To prevent the return of large fare media balances when leaving the IRS or withdrawing from the PTSP, participants should never take more benefits than needed. Transit authority electronic fare cards are not a form of returned fare media.

  4. Participants who haven't picked up subsidy within six months will be automatically withdrawn from the system by DOT.

Descriptions of On-line PTSP Forms

  1. PTSP on-line forms, located on OSGetServices, that require managerial approval are:

    1. PTSP Enrollment Form - Form used by new employees or withdrawn employees to enroll into the program.

    2. PTSP Changes/Update Form - Form used to change a participant’s cost estimate or personal program information.

    3. PTSP Recertification Form - Form used by all participants to recertify their eligibility annually during a staggered recertification schedule.

PTSP Manual Forms

  1. Form 11664 - C - PTSP Change of Information - The form is used for participants that don’t have access to a computer. The form must be faxed to DOT for processing at the number listed on the form. This form should not be used if the participant has access to a computer.

  2. Form 11664 - D - PTSP Cash Reimbursement Certification - The form is submitted by participants at the end of the quarter in those instances when the transit subsidy is not accepted or available. Cash reimbursements are not authorized for participants who didn’t download funds from the TRANServe Card or failed to complete their annual recertification of benefits timely. An electronic payment will be sent to the participant’s bank account on record.

  3. Form 11664 - E - PTSP Authorization for Third Party Pick-Up - The form is prepared and signed by the participant and given to the designated co-worker authorizing them to pick up their transit subsidy on their behalf.

  4. Form 11664-F - PTSP Signature Sheet For Up-Front Monthly/Quarterly Distribution - The FMD will present this form to participants at the transit subsidy distribution. Participants sign and date the form indicating receipt and acceptance of the transit voucher.

  5. Form 11664-G - PTSP Participant Return of Fare Media - The form is submitted when an employee withdraws from the program, separates from the Service, or has expired or damaged transit subsidy. Participants should not write void or destroy the transit subsidy. The form is also used if the participant has received more transit subsidy than entitled. The participant should send the form along with a check or money order to the PTSP specialist listed on the form.

  6. Form 11664- W - PTSP Transit Expense Worksheet - A worksheet used to assist participants in calculating their monthly commuting costs accurately.

Annual Recertification

  1. PTSP Participants are required to recertify their PTSP benefits annually by submitting an electronic recertification through the OSGetServices website. This is done through a staggered recertification schedule.

  2. Participants will receive multiple scheduled e-mail reminders pertaining to the effective date of their PTSP recertification. These e-mails contain instructions for completing the recertification form and contact information if further assistance is needed.

  3. Provisions will be made for participants who do not have access to a computer or are in non-work status to ensure they are able to 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 in the program again at any time.

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

  6. Managers must ensure the Annual PTSP Recertification Form is approved within 15 business days. If the form is not approved, the participant will be withdrawn from the program and must re-enroll. The participant cannot receive a cash reimbursement due to an unapproved recertification form.

SmartBenefits

  1. Commuters using WMATA's metro rail and/or bus system are required to purchase a SmarTrip card. You can purchase one by mail, online or at Metro's sales offices and area transit stores. Be sure to register your card with Metro at the time of purchase by telephone at 1-888-762-7874 or on-line at www.smartrip.com.

    Obtain and register your SmarTrip Card with WMATA.

    When registering, be sure to use your name of record from the Discovery Directory located on the IRWeb.

    Go to OS GetServices.

    Order from the Products and Services Catalog, selecting:

    1. Business and Department Services

    2. Travel

    3. Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP)

    4. PTSP Enrollment Form

  2. Complete a PTSP on-line Enrollment Form to join the PTSP program. The SmarTrip card number you enter on the on-line application should contain only numbers. Failure to add the correct SmarTrip card number to the application may delay your enrollment in the program.

  3. Benefits for metro rail and bus riders are available to recipients on a monthly basis by tapping your SmarTrip card on the SmarTrip target at the metro fare gate or on the bus.

  4. SmartBenefits cannot be checked at a Metro kiosk; you can only see the balance on the SmarTrip card target at the gate.

  5. Unused transit benefits are returned to IRS at the end of each month.

  6. If your card is lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctions, the SmarTrip card can be replaced without losing any of the fare value by calling Metro at 1-888-762-7874. Metro will transfer the balance to a new SmarTrip card, deduct $5 for the new card, register it, and then mail it to you. You must then complete the on-line changes/update form on OS GetServices to reflect the new SmarTrip card number.

  7. Senior citizens (65 and older) and persons with disabilities must have a valid WMATA Senior/Disabled ID card in order to receive the reduced fare offered under the senior/disabled SmarTrip guidelines.

Details

  1. Employees on detail assignments (i.e., temporary assignments to a different position for a specified period, with the employees returning to regular duties at the end of the detail) qualify for the IRS PTSP program in certain circumstances. This includes details to higher or lower grades. The following details are now qualified to participate in the PTSP program.

    1. 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 at a temporary duty station (TDY), may apply for PTSP benefits.

    2. 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 POD, or while on TDY, are eligible for PTSP benefits. Participants may amend/modify their existing PTSP benefits following current PTSP procedures, as appropriate.

  2. 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.

Unlimited Transit Pass

  1. An unlimited transit pass allows IRS commuters to take either a certain number of pre-purchased trips or unlimited trips within a fixed period of time, for transportation to and from work and official business.

  2. Use of these passes is voluntary. Participants may opt to continue using the existing process by submitting local travel authorizations and vouchers for reimbursements or other benefits available while on TDY or for commuting from their residence to a location other than their POD.

  3. Participants cannot use unlimited PTSP transit subsidy benefits and file a local travel voucher.

  4. An employee’s PTSP benefits may not exceed the maximum monthly transit cost 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.

TRANServe Card

  1. In partnership with DOT, TRANServe is a program to deliver transit benefits to participants through use of a branded federal debit card. The TRANServe Card provides a green, cost-efficient, all electronic method for employees to receive their monthly transit benefit and purchase fare passes.

  2. Debit cards have been rolled out to all cities that accept the card.

  3. Upon receipt of the TRANServe Card, participants must activate the card. In order to activate the card, participants should call US Direct Services at 1-800-341-6700 and press, "1" . Hearing impaired participants should call 1-800-341-8300, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system will lead them through the automated process. The following information must be given:

    • TRANServe Card Number

    • Three digit CVV Code (located on the back of the TRANServe Card)

    • A unique four-digit PIN number chosen by the participant

  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 9th, before midnight. 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. The TRANServe Card should be used as a credit card in the selection type, rather than a debit card.

  6. Participants cannot receive a cash reimbursement if funds are not retrieved from their TRANServe Card timely. Unused funds cannot be restored.

  7. Management must return the TRANServe Card to furloughed employees on their first day back to work. This will enable participants to retrieve their benefits if the monthly cycle period hasn't closed.

  8. The transit benefit is a subsidy. Each time you use your TRANServe Card you certify:

    1. I am employed by the federal government

    2. I am eligible for a public transportation fare benefit

    3. I will only use the transit benefit for my daily commute to and from work

    4. I will not give, sell or transfer my transit benefit to anyone else

    5. I will not use the government-provided transit benefit in excess of the statutory limit

    6. I will not include parking fees in the computation of the daily, weekly or monthly commuting cost

  9. Participants who move to a new POD within IRS and currently have a TRANServe Card should keep the card and take it to their new POD. The card is still active and loaded, with funds which can be used towards their new commuting cost. Upon arrival at the new POD, participants should complete an on-line PTSP Changes/Update Form to update information.

  10. Participants who transfer to another agency must withdraw from the program and shred the TRANServe Card. If the participant isn’t withdrawn from the IRS database, they will not be able to enroll with another agency.

Home Delivery of TRANServe Card

  1. The TRANServe Cards are mailed by the contracted bank to the home address participants provide on their PTSP forms.

Senior Passes

  1. The PTSP encourages you to take advantage of senior and/or Medicare cardholder discounts. Check with your local transit authority to see if they offer senior discounts. If you are eligible go to:

    • Go to OS GetServices

    • Select Order from the Product and Services Catalog

    • Select Business and Department Services

    • Select Travel

    • Select PTSP

    • Select PTSP Changes/Update Form

  2. Complete the form providing the new monthly cost for your fare. Be sure to fill out all fields, because this form will replace what is on file for you now. Please state on the detail screen that you are adjusting your costs because of a senior discount.

Teleworking

  1. PTSP participants who telework regularly should abide by the following:

    1. Ensure the transit benefits received match the number of days in the office. Benefits can’t exceed the amount needed. For example: An entire month’s transit fare isn’t needed if a participant only reports to the office once a week.

    2. Make any needed changes to the transit subsidy amount before the cut-off period of the next distribution.

    3. Participants with computer access who need to adjust their commuting cost should submit a PTSP Changes/Update Form on-line through OS GetServices. The instructions are:

      1. Go to OS GetServices

      2. Go to Order from the Product and Services Catalog

      3. Click on Business and Department Services

      4. Click on Travel

      5. Click on Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP)

      6. Click on PTSP Changes/Update Form

    4. Participants without computer access should complete a manual Form 11664-C, PTSP Changes/Update Form, to adjust their commuting cost.

    5. All fields should be completed on the PTSP Changes/Update Form, not just the information being updated.