Commuter Direct - Help & Information

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What happens if I do not use all of my allocated benefits in a given month?

SmartBenefits funds are intended to be applied to employees' commuting costs in the month the subsidy is issued. Unused funds may be returned to employers.

Federal employees: CommuterDirect.com has been instructed by the US DOT TRANServe office to provide a full refund of all unused Electronic SmartBenefit funds from all federal employee CommuterDirect.com and Commuter Store customer accounts. Funds that are not used before 2:00 pm on the 21st of each month for the current month's transit passes will be removed from your CommuterDirect.com and Commuter Store account.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
[Docket No. DOT-OST-2013-0213]
Notice of Transportation Services' OMB Designation, timely return of excess transit benefits to the Treasury, and stakeholder notification of the minimum internal controls
AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DOT.
ACTION: Notice.

If you are not a Federal employee and you receive transit subsidy benefits through private or non-Federal agencies please disregard this notice.

In order to adhere to the new federal mandate, CommuterDirect.com will begin returning any unused carryover funds from previous years as well as any unused electronic SmartBenefits starting March 22nd, 2014. Every Electronic SmartBenefits account holder will continue, without interruption, to have their monthly assigned Transit subsidies funds added into their CommuterDirect.com and Commuter Store account each month on the morning of the 22nd.

An overview of the process can be seen below

  • Transit subsidy funds added into your account during the current month can only be used for the following month transit needs. (Monthly, ten trips, one way and TLC's etc.)
  • Funds that are not used before 2:00 pm on the 21st of each month for the current month's transit passes will be removed from your CommuterDirect.com account
  • Funds that are not used before close of business on the 21st of each month for the current month's transit passes will be removed from your Commuter Store account
  • These unused transit funds will be returned back to the United States Department of Treasury in one single combined deposit on the 21st of every month.
  • Documentation to justify the monthly deposit will be provided to the United States Department of Transportation's TRANServe group
  • CommuterDirect.com will adhere to this federally mandated policy effective January 22nd until further notice.


CommuterDirect.com recommends that customers use any unused funds (keeping in mind this will be a onetime only occurrence before these excess funds are removed permanently from your accounts) on March 21, 2014. Examples of fares that can be purchased without an expiration date or an extended expiration can be found on CommuterDirect.com. Clicking on to the specific Transit pass and reviewing its limitations. This will help you determine what passes you may be able to use beyond your regular monthly needs. Using these funds can be done by placing a one-time order in our system. These orders must be placed on the 21st of each month before 2:00pm.

Adhering to strict federal policy, CommuterDirect.com can not deviate from the above guidelines. These guidelines also apply to our Commuter Stores customers.

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