Commuter Direct - Help & Information

Help Index

Frequently-Asked Questions

1. How do I suspend my Renewable Order for a month?

To suspend your Renewable Order, follow the steps below. Renewable Orders must be suspended by the 9th of the previous month.

  • Log into your account
  • Select "My Account"
  • Select "Renewable Orders"
  • Select "Edit Renewable Orders"
  • Select the month/year you are suspending
  • Select "Yes" to the message "Would you like to suspend your SmartBenefits allocation for the selected renewable order?" if you do not need your SmartBenefits to come in for the month. Select "No" if you would like CommuterDirect.com to still receive your SmartBenefits.
  • Click "Update renewable order"

Note: You will also receive an email 5 days prior to your order shipping out, which will remind you to make any changes to the order as needed before it ships.

2. How do I cancel my Renewable Order?

To cancel your Renewable Order:

  • Log into your account
  • Select "My Account"
  • Select "Renewable Orders"
  • Select "Edit Renewable Orders"
  • Select Yes to the message "Would you like to suspend your SmartBenefits Allocation for the selected Renewable Order?"
  • Click "Cancel Renewable Order"

3. Why do I need a credit card on file if my employer is paying for my ticket or pass?

A credit card is required for using the CommuterDirect.com mailing service because we send you a ticket or pass before we receive payment from your employer. Basically, it's like making a hotel reservation... you must provide a credit card to make a reservation, but once you arrive, you may pay for the services using your desired method of payment. When you are creating your order (whether it is Renewable or One-Time), you will specify that you are using SmartBenefits to cover your ticket purchase instead of your credit card. If you do not like the requirement of placing your credit card on file, we have six Commuter Store locations that you can allocate your benefits to and go and pick up your ticket.

4. How and when do my monthly SmartBenefitsĀ® go from my employer to CommuterDirect.com?

  • Your employer pays WMATA for your transit benefit. You will need to update your benefits with your employer by the 15th of the previous month. (This date may be different depending on your employer.)
  • CommuterDirect.com sees the funds being directed toward your SmarTrip account (by WMATA) and applies that amount of money as a credit towards your CommuterDirect.com account on the 22nd of the month.
  • On the 1st of the month WMATA forwards that payment to CommuterDirect.com.

5. Can I split my SmartBenefits between MARC, VRE or MTA Commuter Bus and Metro?

Yes. When adding SmartBenefits to your account, please enter only the amount that you would need CommuterDirect.com to take for your MARC, VRE or MTA Commuter Bus ticket. We will place the funds for your MARC, VRE or MTA Commuter Bus ticket in your account, and you will be able to download the Metro portion to your SmarTrip card at the Metro station on the first day of the effective month.

6. Do I need a CommuterDirect.com account to use SmartBenefits on services other than MARC, VRE or MTA Commuter Bus?

No. If you use any transit system that accepts SmarTrip cards, you can download your SmartBenefits directly to your card at a Metrorail station farecard machine. MARC, VRE and MTA Commuter Bus do not accept SmarTrip cards, and CommuterDirect.com provides a convenient way to apply SmartBenefits to MARC, VRE and MTA Commuter Bus fares.

7. When will my tickets be mailed?

If you have a Renewable Order with us your ticket will be mailed out between the 11th and the 22nd of the prior month. If you are placing One-Time orders and place your order before 2:00pm that day, it will be mailed out the same day. Orders placed after 2:00pm will be shipped the next business day via the shipping method you choose. We encourage you to use a traceable shipping method if your order is placed after the 20th of the month. Commuter Direct is not responsible for tickets not received by the 1st of the month.

8. Why was my credit card charged when I get SmartBenefits from my employer?

Your credit will ONLY be charged if:

  • Your Renewable does not reflect a promise payment of SmartBenefits or other acceptable fare media.
  • We do not receive your promise payment by due date on your receipt.
  • You did not place your SmarTrip card on file in your CommuterDirect.com account.

9. How do I add a credit card to my account?

  • Log into your account
  • Select "My Account"
  • Select the tab for "Payment Methods"
  • Scroll down to "Standard Payment Methods (Personal Credit/Debit Cards)"
  • Click on "Add New Payment Method"
  • Enter card information
  • Click "Save"

10. How do I add my employer-sponsored debit card to my account?

  • Log into your account
  • Select "My Account"
  • Select the tab for "Payment Methods"
  • Scroll down to "Employer-Sponsored Debit Cards"
  • Select "Add New Debit Card"

You will need to adjust your Renewable Order to make the debit card your new payment method.

  • Select the "Renewable Orders" tab
  • Click on "Edit Renewable Order"
  • Scroll down to "Funding Options" and click on "Debit Card"
  • Select the debit card from the drop-down menu (The menu will show the last four digits of your card)
  • Enter the amount to be debited from the debit card
  • Click "Update Renewable Order"

11. How do I pay for the remaining balance if my benefits do not cover the full cost of my ticket?

Your credit card on file will be charged for the remaining balance. You can pay an outstanding balance at any time by logging into your account, going to the Order History tab on the My Account page and clicking the "Pay Balance" link in the order listing.

12. How can I get a refund for my VRE ticket?

If you would like to receive a refund for your VRE train tickets, please return your ticket either priority or certified mail (for tracking purposes only) to the address below, with a letter saying why you are returning the pass. Please note that the tickets must be postmarked before the LAST DAY OF PREVIOUS MONTH for full refund (excluding shipping cost, if applicable).

CommuterDirect.com
P.O. Box 12176
Arlington, VA 22219

VRE return/refund policies

Monthly Tickets are refundable with proof of purchase and under the following conditions:

  • Postmarked prior to effective month: 100% refund
  • Postmarked 1st through 10th of effective month: Two Single-Ride full fares for the applicable zone pairing will be deducted from refund for each service day prior to the post mark on the returned ticket.
  • Postmarked after the 10th of the effective month: 0% refund
  • The $111 Metrorail portion of a Transit Link card is nonrefundable after the first of the month.
  • The $111 portion of the Transit Link card is nonrefundable once it has been used in the Metro system. If used in the WMATA system, there will be a date printed on the face of the ticket across the small VRE logo, beneath the hole.
  • If your VRE TLC ticket becomes demagnetized, ONLY WMATA can provide you with a substitute pass. These passes are ONLY available at Metro Center and the Pentagon Metro sales office.

13. How can I get a refund for my MARC ticket?

If you would like to receive a refund for MARC a ticket or pass, please return the ticket using either priority or certified mail (for tracking purposes only) to the address below, with a letter of saying why you are returning the ticket. Please note that the tickets must be post marked before LAST DAY OF PREVIOUS MONTH for full refund (excluding shipping cost, if applicable).

CommuterDirect.com
P.O. Box 12176
Arlington, VA 22219

MARC return/refund policies

Monthly tickets are refundable, based on the return postmark date, as follows:

  • Postmarked prior to effective month: 100% refund
  • Postmarked 1st through 5th of effective month: 75% refund
  • Postmarked 6th through 10th of effective month: 50% refund
  • Postmarked after the 10th of effective month: 0% refund
  • TLC Tickets are refunded at 100% prior to the first of the month. After the 1st, NO CREDIT can be given for the Metrorail portion of the fare ($111.00).
  • One-Way tickets are non-refundable.
  • Weekly tickets are refundable if the return postmark is dated no later than 11:59 p.m. the Friday prior to the effective week.

14. How can I get a refund for my MTA Commuter Bus ticket?

If you would like to receive a refund for a MTA Commuter Bus ticket or pass, please return the ticket using either priority or certified mail (for tracking purposes only) to the address below, with a letter of saying why you are returning the ticket. Please note that the tickets must be post marked before LAST DAY OF PREVIOUS MONTH for full refund (excluding shipping cost, if applicable).

CommuterDirect.com
P.O. Box 12176
Arlington, VA 22219

MTA Commuter Bus return/refund policies

Monthly tickets are refundable, based on the return postmark date, as follows:

  • Postmarked prior to effective month: 100% refund
  • Postmarked 1st through 5th of effective month: 75% refund
  • Postmarked 6th through 10th of effective month: 50% refund
  • Postmarked after the 10th of effective month: 0% refund
  • TLC Tickets are refunded at 100% prior to the first of the month. After the 1st, NO CREDIT can be given for the Metrorail portion of the fare ($171.00).
  • Ten-Trip tickets are non-refundable.

15. How much SmartBenefits credit can I have in my account?

You may keep a balance of up to 1 month of benefits in your account at a time. Any credit that has not been used by the 21st of the month will be swept and sent to the Department of Treasury.

16. How long will inactive accounts remain open?

If your account is inactive for 6 months or more, your account will be disabled and your SmartBenefits allocation will be deleted. Your account can be restored at any time by calling CommuterDirect.com at 703-228-7433.

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