For civilian and active duty personnel of the US Military
The recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included a provision which significantly increased the maximum tax free benefit for the Department of Defense (DoD) Mass Transportation Benefit Program (MTBP). The MTBP is a program that allows any active duty military member or civilian DoD employee to receive up to $245 per month for transportation costs if they are using a qualified mode of transportation. The qualified modes of transportation include bus, train and vanpool.
Vanpooling is a ridesharing arrangement where four to 15 people share the costs of commuting in a passenger van. Presently, it is the only viable qualified mode of transportation for most Langley Air Force Base personnel. People who vanpool save thousands of dollars in fuel and transportation-related expenses each year, while dramatically reducing the wear and tear on their car. The ridesharing arrangement reduces stress associated with commuting to work each day and provides an excellent tool for building relationships.
In addition to the personal benefits, participation has a positive impact on society by reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. Vanpooling directly impacts the DoD’s commitment to “sound environmental management” referenced in the Secretary of Defense’s Earth Day Message.
The DoD transit subsidy will cover all vanpool expenses for most vanpool groups that have at least seven participants, meaning the commute will be effectively free for most end users.
Military personnel and civilian DoD employees are using the transit benefit to vanpool to work at more than 50 military installations nationwide, including Virginia installations like Fort Pickett, Fort Belvoir, Dahlgren NSWC and DSCR in Richmond.
There are nine vanpools currently in operation at Langley, consisting almost entirely of Air National Guard personnel. These vanpools have been in operation for nearly two years, but to date, members of the regular Air Force at Langley have not taken advantage of the program.
The DoD Mass Transportation Benefit Program policy is available at www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100027p.pdf.
DoD Increases Mass Transportation Benefit