Frequently Asked Questions About SmartBenefits®

For answers to questions about SmarTrip®, please see our SmarTrip® Questions & Answers.

What is SmartBenefits®?

SmartBenefits® is a convenient Web-based program that lets employers assign the dollar value of employees' monthly commuting benefit directly to the employees' SmarTrip® cards. This can be done right from your computer using our website. With SmartBenefits®, you'll immediately eliminate the need to distribute Metrocheks to Metrorail, Metrobus, most regional bus systems, and van pool commuters.

Van pool operators, van pool passengers, D & B Bus/Quick's Commuter Service passengers, MARC and VRE riders can switch fare payments from paper Metrocheks to electronic SmartBenefits®.


What if my transit provider doesn't accept SmarTrip® cards?

SmartBenefits® is offering SmartBenefits® vouchers for customers whose transit providers do not yet accept SmarTrip® cards. VRE and MARC Rail have a program with Metro and to mail VRE & MARC Rail tickets to SmartBenefits® employee participants. To participate in this program, apply for a new SmartBenefits® MARC & VRE passenger account.


What if my employer doesn't offer SmartBenefits®?

If your employer doesn't offer SmartBenefits®, you can still take advantage of the security and convenience of SmarTrip®. Any dollar amount you put on the card will be protected as long as you register your SmarTrip® card.


How can my employer enroll in SmartBenefits®?

Your employer must complete the online SmartBenefits® application. After, the employer submits the application, we will return the appropriate forms to the employer for signature approval based on the payment information provided. Upon receipt of the signed forms, your employer will be assigned a customer account number, user ID, and password.


How can employers find out more about SmartBenefits®?

Employers can attend a free SmartBenefits® employer seminar at Metro Headquarters, 600 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC, and learn all about SmartBenefits® and how to administer the transit benefit over the Internet. For more information, call 202-962-1326 and select option 3, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


How can employees find out more about SmartBenefits®?

Ask your employer if your company offers SmartBenefits®. If your employer does, someone in your benefits department should be able to explain how the program works. You can also learn more by visiting the SmartBenefits® website or calling 202-962-1326 and selecting option 3, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


What do I need to know about the SmartBenefits® vouchers?

Your vouchers are available in three separate denominations: $1, $10, and $30. For more information, please see Metrocheks Are Coming To An End.

SmartBenefits® vouchers cannot be exchanged for the following fare products: School Tokens - $7.50, SmartStudent Pass - $30, Senior and Disability Farecards - $10, SmarTrip cards, and regular farecards. The table below details each pass that can be exchanged for SmartBenefits® vouchers.

Prices effective June 27, 2010

One Day Pass $9.00
Weekly Short Trip Pass $32.35
Weekly Fast Pass $47.00

You can also learn more about the new SmartBenefits® vouchers by calling 202-962-1326 and selecting option 3, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


How do Senior or Persons with Disabilities SmarTrip® cards work with SmartBenefits®?

First, you must provide your employer with the serial number located on the back your SmarTrip® card. Second, be sure to write down your number printed on the back of your SmarTrip® card.

The Senior SmarTrip® and Person with Disabilities SmarTrip® cards are specially encoded to automatically deduct the reduced fare each time you use a SmarTrip® card.

Note: If you currently have a Reduced Fare SmarTrip® card, you should not purchase the Senior SmarTrip® card unless your card is lost, stolen or damaged.


What to do about Metrocheks after March 31, 2009?

You may continue to transfer unused Metrocheks onto your SmarTrip® card. Metrocheks valued less than $7 can be transferred to a SmarTrip® card. After March 31, 2009, you may continue using Metrocheks like regular farecards on the Metrorail system. New changes do not impact your unused Metrocheks.


Will the SmarTrip card limit increase beyond $300 with the recent increase of the transit benefit allowance from $120 to $230 monthly?

No, the SmarTrip® card limit will remain at $300. The vast majority of Metro's customers who receive transit benefits are not affected by this change. A smaller group of customers receive both transit and parking benefits may have to download the SmartBenefits® incrementally on their SmarTrip® card during the benefit month.


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