Mass Transportation Benefit Program
All aboard! In 1953, the Army provided bus services from residences in Las Cruces, El Paso, Alamogordo, and other local communities from and to the installation. Today we still use city-operated buses; however, vanpools are the most popular means of transportation. They are practically a form of social media.
The Army provides benefits to more than 30,000 employees and provides numerous benefits to the Army, the community, and the environment. The MTBP provides non-taxable subsidy to eligible participants (military, civilian, or non-appropriated fund (NAF) employees). The program began in April 2000 under Executive Order 13150, Federal Workforce Transportation requiring Federal agencies to provide employee incentives to use public transportation in their commute to and from work, in order to reduce Federal employees’ contribution to traffic congestion and air pollution.
There are over 80 vanpools at White Sands Missile Range in which to participate. It is a simple process; however, it can take about 60-90 days to enroll. Fill out an application and submit it to the Installation POC. Prospective participants may find Army program details and forms at http://asafm.army.mil/offices/ASA/MassTrans.aspx?OfficeCode=1000 or by emailing the Installation global email address: USARMY WSMR SEC List ZO MTBP (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please use MTBP in the subject line of emails pertaining to the program. The 2015 maximum subsidy is $130, an amount regulated by the Internal Revenue Service. Commuting costs calculations must be included on the application form and verified by the Installation POC and the participant’s supervisor. Department of Transportation TranServe debit cards load on the 10th of the month prior to the benefit period – this means on the 10th of October, the subsidy for November is loaded onto the card. Participants MUST report changes in vanpools, means of transportation, commuting costs, or employment status.
“Ghost” Riders. Participants on TDY, leave, or who do not use mass transportation for more than 50% of the time period for which they receive benefits must only receive pro-rated benefits for the days in which they use the service and adjust their subsidy appropriately with the Installation POC. If a participant desires to reserve a seat, the cost is the responsibility of the employee. Unused fare returns to the program in the period in which a person separates, retires, or withdraws. The Government Accounting Office monitors the Installation’s internal controls and program oversight – it is important that we preserve the benefits of the program while eliminating opportunities for abuse.
Fall Verification Drive. Starting November 1, the Installation POC is performing the annual reverification process for all participants. At the same time, many TranServe debit cards come due for renewal. The card vendor will send new cards to the Installation POC in October. Participants please respond to upcoming reverification emails.
Van Pool Coordinators please re-energize the submission of monthly attendance logs to the Installation POC email starting November 1 (reporting October ridership).