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Instructions for Receiving Electronic Fare Media

A young woman in a suit holding the strap of a mode of mass transportation.If you enrolled and submitted a claim, your benefits will be loaded directly to your card. To verify your SmartBenefits® status and your claim history, see your Participant Status. The claim history is at the bottom of the page.

Riders of vanpools, MARC, VRE, MTA commuter buses, Quick's Bus, and other modes of transit that do not have SmarTrip® card readers have an additional allocation step to move the benefits from their SmarTrip® cards to their transit vendor.

Benefit Delivery

Commuters using transportation with SmarTrip® targets/readers installed such as: ART, CUE Bus System, DASH, DC Circulator, Fairfax Connector, Loudoun Commuter Bus, Metro Bus, Metro Rail, Montgomery County Ride On, OmniRide, REX, and TheBus simply:

On the first workday of the benefits period, benefits will be applied directly to your SmarTrip® card the first time you tap your card to a Metro Rail faregate (entry turnstile) or bus SmarTrip® card target. (*)(**)

When you tap your card on the target for the first time during the benefit period, the transit benefit balance displayed on the screen at the Metro faregate or Bus farebox will be your full monthly benefit amount. As you ride during the month, you will be using your benefits as you commute on mass transit.

Metro allows your employer to separate benefits from personal funds on your card by providing separate "purses" on the card (see below for more information on purses). Your transit benefits are stored on a transit benefit purse on the card. Any personal funds you have on the card are still there, but in a separate personal stored value purse on your card.

* SmarTrip® card must have a history of use and a positive personal balance in order to load benefits. You do not need to spend personal funds to establish a history of use. You can tap your card on a "farecards and passes" machine along the walls of a Metro station at any point in the 3 weeks prior to benefits loading. After tapping your card, you will see your personal balance. Hit "press for cancel" and you are done.

** If a history is not established in the 3 weeks prior to benefits loading, benefits will still load, but they may take 3 to 5 days after first use to establish a history and start working.

Your SmarTrip® card has 2 electronic "purses:"

Transit Benefit Purse
  • DoD assigns authorized mass transit benefit
  • Funds from this purse are used first when riding mass transit during the benefit period
  • View balance at faregate, bus farebox, or online
  • Unused benefits do not roll over to the next benefit period
  • Can NOT be used for parking
  • Can NOT be transferred to your personal stored value purse
  • Holds up to your certified commuting cost not to exceed the federal maximum of $245 per month
Personal Stored Value Purse
  • Personal funds added at Metro farecard kiosks or online
  • View balance at the Metro farecard kiosks, parking target, or online
  • Will be used pay for parking at a Metro lot
  • Cannot be transferred to Transit Benefit Purse
  • Your personal funds do not expire and will remain on the card until used
  • Holds up to $300 of personal funds

Troubleshooting Checklist

  1. Verify that you submitted a claim and are using the same SmarTrip® card that you registered for benefits:

    Visit your Participant Status. The SmarTrip® card # being used for benefits is displayed and the claim history is at the bottom of the page.

  2. The SmarTrip® card must have a history of use and a positive personal balance in order to load benefits. You do not need to spend personal funds to establish a history of use. You can tap your card on a "farecards and passes" machine along the walls of a Metro station at any point in the 3 weeks prior to benefits loading. After tapping your card, you will see your personal balance. Hit "press for cancel" and you are done.

    Note: If a history is not established in the 3 weeks prior to benefits loading, benefits will still load, but they may take 3 to 5 days after first use to establish a history and start working.

    Contact the MTBP Program office at 571-256-0962.