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 Transportation Incentive Program (TIP)



Important Deadlines:

July Distribution Deadline: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 (for funds to be used in August) August Distribution Deadline: Thursday, July 21, 2016 (for funds to be used Sept)
September Distribution Deadline: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 (for funds to be used Oct)
October Distribution Deadline: Thursday, September 22, 2016 (for funds to be used November)

Change and withdrawal deadline: The deadline to submit a change or withdrawal is the 25th of every month (or the last business day before the 25th) in order to be processed for the distribution or benefit load that will occur in the following month. If the change is an increase benefit amount, the increase will be available to use on the 1st day of the second month after the change is submitted.

What is TIP?
How Does TIP Work?
How Much is the Benefit Amount?
Who qualifies?
Need Help with the TIP Application?
What Must Commands/Installations Do?
What Must Reviewing Officials Do?

What is TIP?

The Department of Defense Instruction 1000.27 established a mass transit benefit program. In accordance with this instruction, the Department of the Navy (DON) implemented TIP for DON employees to help reduce their daily contribution to traffic congestion and air pollution, as well as expand their commuting alternatives.

TIP Administration is divided into two Regions:

  • National Capital Region (NCR): Includes the District of Columbia; Montgomery, Prince George's, and Frederick Counties in Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia; and all cities now or hereafter existing in Maryland or Virginia within the geographic area bounded by the outer boundaries of the combined area of said counties
  • Outside the National Capital Region (ONCR): Includes all DON facilities and installations and all DON employees located in 50 states (exclusive of the area included in the definition of the NCR) as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Important Note: Guidance and policies included on this website pertains specifically to the ONCR portion of the program only.

Any potential applicants located in the NCR should refer to the National Capital Region Mass Transit Benefit Program for further information.

How Does TIP Work?

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the Executive Agent (EA) for many federal agencies, including the DON. As EA, DOT distributes transit benefits via the TRANServe debit card in most locations. The Assistant Secretary to the Navy, Financial Management & Comptroller, [ASN (FM&C)] Office of Financial Operations (FMO), serves as the DON TIP Program Manager and provides administrative support to Installations/Commands. Program participants use their TRANServ debit card to pay for qualified mass transit.

TIP is designed to pay for mass transit costs incurred by personnel in their local commute from residence to permanent duty station. Participants must accurately claim an amount that reflects their actual commuting cost—failure to do so will result in fraudulent certification on the application and is subject to criminal prosecution. This program is a benefit, not an entitlement, so there is no retroactive reimbursement for the program back to its inception.

Mass transit methods recognized as qualified means of transportation (QMOT) include:

  • Commuter Bus
  • Commuter Train
  • Subway/Light Rail
  • Vanpool
  • Ferry (foot passengers only)
    • Ferries are not approved as a means of shuttling Personally Owned Vehicles (POVs) from one point to another where the completion of the journey to an individual's duty station is completed in the POV

The following mass transit methods are not recognized as QMOT and are not eligible for TIP:

  • Carpools
  • POVs
  • Motorcyles
  • Bicycles
  • Airplanes
  • Walkers/pedestrians

TRANServe debit cards are loaded on the 10th of the month to enable participants to pay for their qualified mass transit method for the coming month (e.g., October benefits would be loaded on 10 September). Transit benefits are available until midnight on the 9th of the current commuting month (e.g., October benefits would be available until 9 October). Any transit benefits not used by midnight on the 9th of the commuting month are removed from the card and are forfeited.

How much is the Benefit Amount?

Effective 1 March 2016, DON members are eligible for transit benefits up to $255.00 per month (parking fees excluded) for specific, pre-approved commuter mass transit transportation costs not to exceed actual expenses.

Who Qualifies?

The following personnel are eligible to apply for TIP:

  • All Navy and Marine Corps military members and federal DON civilian employees, including Non-appropriated Fund (NAF) employees
  • Part-time federal employees and interns

The following personnel are ineligible to apply for TIP:

  • Reservists who are on weekend drilling/training (are considered to be on inactive duty)
  • Contractors, U.S. Coast Guard employees, retirees, and/or military dependents
  • ROTC students (unless enlisted in a military branch and considered "Active Duty", then they are eligible to apply)
  • Overseas members/employees outside the ONCR coverage areas

Need Help with the TIP Application?

Below are some important tips to help you accurately complete the TIP application:

  • TIP participants must coordinate with their local Reviewing Official to ensure that all applications are filled out properly.
  • The "Funding Information" boxes identify the appropriation/fund that finances an applicant's salary
    • For budget purposes, it is imperative the Unit Identification Code (UIC)/Reporting Unit Code (RUC) and Major Command (MC) are filled out correctly
    • If the applicant and local Reviewing Official are unsure what the correct source of funding is for the applicant, they must contact the Payroll/Timekeeper or Resource Management Comptroller Office to obtain this information
  • The monthly commuting cost on public transportation is determined by calculating the daily commuting cost and multiplying it times 21 average workdays per month
    • Parking fees cannot be included in the amount you claim for reimbursement
    • You must enter the actual commuting cost, even if the total exceeds the maximum benefit amount
    • Van pools participating in this program must adhere to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 26 Section 132(f)
    • Questions concerning van pool eligibility should be directed to the local Reviewing Official or the TIP Program Manager

Click here to find a local Reviewing Official.

What Must Commands/Installations Do?

Local Commands/Installations have the following administrative responsibilities:

  • Ensure the local command or installation Mass Transportation Benefit Program (MTBP) complies with applicable law, regulations, and ethics principles
  • Designate a Reviewing Official to perform the activities listed below
  • Ensure local parking program administrator(s) support management and oversight objectives of the local MTBP (e.g., through access to or provision of adequate parking records)
  • Develop internal management control procedures and conduct internal review

What Must Reviewing Officials Do?

Reviewing Officials have the following administrative responsibilities:

  • Disseminate information about the program
  • Distribute the “Welcome Aboard!” overview document which summarizes program background information, eligibility requirements, and policies Help employees complete the TIP application and recertification processes
  • Ensure applicants have access to and understand TIP participation requirements
  • Review applications for completeness, including permanent duty station  address, commuting origination point, reasonableness of commuting costs, and supervisory signature
  • Ensure participants meet the eligibility criteria outlined in DODI 1000.27
  • Ensure TIP policy compliance by reviewing supporting documentation for TIP participants, including commuting cost calculations and conducting a random sample of calculations as needed
  • Digitally sign the application form or return to applicant for clarifying information
  • Annually assess program operations in accordance with DoD policy and procedures
  • Distribute transit benefits upon receipt from the Department of Transportation

 Quick Links

Pay Programs (FMO-31)
Transportation Incentive Program
Find a Local Reviewing Official
TIP Policy, Training, and Guidance Information
Access TIP Forms
Frequently Asked Questions
Contact TIP

 What's New with TIP?


The latest Transportation Incentive Program Newsletter is available below:

May 2016 Newsletter
May 2016 Newsletter (PDF, 125KB)

Click here to access the archive of previous edditions of the newsletter.

Click here to access the latest TIP policy updates, training, forms and guidance documents

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