I remember starting at the IRS years ago and was happy to find out that employees were offered a bus pass. This made getting to and from work a lot easier for me and was one less thing I would have to worry about. This benefit can be great, but it can also come with consequences if not used properly.
The IRS Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) was established to encourage employees to use public transportation when commuting to and from their residence and official post of duty (POD). Eligible employees using an authorized public transportation method will receive an employer-provided fare subsidy to apply toward their monthly transit costs. IRS will pay the transit benefits from appropriated funding equal to the participant’s actual monthly commuting cost, up to the maximum nontaxable monthly amount allowed by law. 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.
As of January 2022, the current monthly maximum PTSP benefit amount is $280. The program is open to all IRS employees, including full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees. You can apply by going to OS GetServices and submitting a ticket.
If you decide to sign up for the program, you will be agreeing that you:
1. Are employed by the federal government;
2. Are eligible for a public transportation fare benefit;
3. will only use the transit benefit for my daily commute to and from my residence and official POD;
4. will not use the benefit for local visits to other offices;
5. will not give, sell or transfer your transit benefit to anyone else;
6. will not use the government-provided transit benefit in excess of the statutory limit; and
7. will not include parking fees in the computation of the daily, weekly or monthly commuting cost.
If after signing up to receive the bus pass you decide you no longer need it, make sure to withdraw from the program. It is your responsibility to let management know that you no longer wish to be in the program. Failure to let management know may result in disciplinary action. Once you withdraw from the program you must return or destroy the TRANServe card, return the transit vouchers or any unused portion of the benefits received.
You can find more information by visiting the official PTSP policy and procedures in IRM 1.32.15 (.pdf) and US Department of Transportation:https://www.transportation.gov/transerve/participants/irs