While we make every effort to assist staff with their commuting questions, the SmartBenefits Program and software is not Mason's and we are limited in the assistance we can provide. We will make every effort to answer your questions, check your SmartBenefits Account and resolve your problem and questions, but if there is a problem with your Smartrip Card or online account we will notify our WMATA Account Representative for action.
Steps Needed To Receive Commuter Choice Benefits (Smart Benefits)
- Purchase your Smartrip Card. Learn about Smartrip.
- Register your card and create your online account.
- Tap your Smartrip Card at any turnstile between the 16th and end of the month or at the Farecards and Passes Machines and then hit the "Cancel" button to make sure the latest software version is downloaded onto your card.
- Complete the Commuter Choice Application. Forms must be filled in completely for us to process your benefit.
- Every month, submit the Monthly Benefit Request Form. Forms are usually due around the 12th of each month to receive the benefit the next month. Efiles announcements are posted the two Mondays prior to the deadline date. It is your responsibility to submit your form on time so we have enough time to enter your benefit.
- If you miss submitting your form by the deadline more than one time per year, we will not provide your benefit for that month.
- By the fifth of each month you must submit your Tracking Form for the previous month to the Parking & Transportation Office. This is a state requirement to track usage, transportation services used, etc.
Tips and Suggestions
- Your Smartrip Card must be registered before you can receive the Commuter Choice Benefit (Smart Benefits). While creating an online account is not required, it is recommended so you can monitor the funds in your account. Your account will have three "purses", a Store Value Purse (Personal Purse) where you would add money for your personal use, a Parking Purse (Mason does not provide a parking benefit, so this will not have funds put in it), and a Transit Purse. The Commuter Choice benefit amount (up to $245/month) will be put in the Transit Purse and be available the first of every month.
- The funds are NOT downloaded onto your Smartrip Card. With the Autoload System your funds remain in your account. Your Smartrip Card acts like a debit card and the cost of the trip is deducted from your Transit Purse in your account. When the Transit Purse funds are depleted, funds will automatically be taken from your Personal Purse, if you have any. If no funds are available, you will have to add funds to your Personal Purse at a farecard machine before your card will work at the turnstile.
- To check the balance in your account, access your online account. Or, to view the amount in your Transit Purse use any faregate or farebox. If a portion of your transit fare comes from your personal stored value purse because of insufficient funds in your transit purse, the amount displayed when commuting will be the balance from your personal stored value purse.
- Funds in your Transit Purse cannot be moved to your Personal Purse and vice versa.
- Any unused funds in the Transit Purse at the end of the month will be removed and returned to the University's SmartBenefits Account.
- If your Smartrip Card is lost or stolen.
- Report it to the Smartrip Office.
- Get a new card, register it and update your online account..
- Call our office at 703-993-2828 with your new card number and we will transfer your benefit to your new card.
- The transfer takes 3 - 5 business days.
Van/Car Pool & MARC/VRE Users
- For Van/Car Pool riders, set up your card with the online account for your van/car pool provider to receive your benefit: Create Smartrip Account.
- For transportation services that do not accept the Smartrip Card such as the MARC and VRE trains, in addition to your Smartrip Account, you will need to create an account at Commuterdirect.com. Information can be found at WMATA (scroll down to MARC & VRE passengers) and Commuter Direct. Please be aware that you only have a few days to transfer your benefit from your account to your Commuter Direct account to purchase your MARC/VRE tickets and have them arrive in the mail by the first of the month. Mason is not responsible for your commuting costs if your tickets do not arrive by the first of the month.