DOTS :: Smart Commute: Incentives
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The University of Maryland and the Department of Transportation Services is committed to investing in sustainable transportation and encouraging faculty, staff, students and visitors to choose a transportation option other than driving alone to get to and from campus.

The University, through the Climate Action Plan, is committed to achieving carbon neutrality for all emissions by 2050.

Investing is sustainable transportation is far less expensive than building more parking. DOTS provides a variety of incentives to encourage the UMD community to try ridesharing, biking, walking and transit.

Cost To Build a Garage with 900 Parking Spaces
$35,000 900 $31,500,000
Cost to build a single garage parking space Parking spaces (750 net) Total cost (Plus financing and annual maintenance)
  • Employee Parking Cash Out
  • Pre-Tax Transit/Vanpool Benefits
  • Low Emission Vehicle Discount
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Carpool/Vanpool Incentives
  • Bundle Packs
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Bike Commuter

Employee Parking Cash Out Pilot Program

Receive $425+ for giving up your parking registration for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Employee Parking Cash-out Program is now filled for 2018-2019.

Sign-up between August 1 at 11:00 am and August 10 at 4:00 pm.

As part of our ongoing effort to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle trips coming to and from campus each day, DOTS is offering $425 to the first 50 eligible employees who give up their parking registration and commit to a sustainable commute for the entire 2018-2019 academic year. This pilot program is a Smart Commute initiative designed to help reduce parking demand and help meet the University’s Climate Action Plan goals.

Eligibility

Participants must be full-time UMD faculty or staff that have an active annual Faculty/Staff parking registration for the 2017-2018 academic year. Individuals who currently participate in programs that are part of the DOTS Sustainable Transportation Program are not eligible for the parking cash out. These include carpool permit holders, subsidized vanpools and 142 Columbia Pay-to-Ride passengers. The parking cash out is not available to employees that work in offices that are located off campus and do not require a parking registration.

Sign-up Period

Eligible employees may sign up on the DOTS website or in person at the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage between Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 11:00 am and Friday, August 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

Participants Must Agree To:

  • Cancel their parking registration for one academic year. If a participant purchases a parking registration prior to May 24, 2019, they will receive $0.
  • Log their commute trips in the Smart Commute Platform for the entire academic year.
  • Attend an in-person meeting at DOTS prior to August 17, 2018.

Participants Will Receive:

  • $425 distributed in June 2019. Recipients are responsible for income reporting and taxes if applicable.
  • One Bundle Pack that allows a vehicle to park on campus for a total of 10 separate days in specific parking lots.
  • mBike annual membership.
  • Registration in Guaranteed Ride Home program, which provides free transportation from work to home in an emergency.

Pre-Tax Transit/Vanpool Benefits

DOTS offered payroll deduction for employees, including graduate assistants and teaching assistants, who use transit for commuting purposes.

We work with Benefit Resource, Inc. (BRI) to administer the Pre-Tax Transit Benefit program. BRI issues participants a MasterCard debit card that is accepted only at transit agencies. Pre-tax funds that are deducted from your paycheck are loaded directly onto your assigned debit card and you will be able to load your WMATA SmartTrip card (at a kiosk or online), purchase MARC Train tickets or any other transit fare media as you would with your own debit card.

To enroll in the Pre-Tax Transit Benefit program:

  1. Employee must complete the Pre-Tax Transit Benefits Initiation Form. DOTS will then verify that you are an eligible employee and submit your information to BRI.
  2. Employee will receive an email from DOTS confirming eligibility with instructions to establish an account on the BRI website and select deduction amount.
  3. Employee will receive debit MasterCard at the address provided.
  4. DOTS processes payroll deduction and transfers funds to BRI.
  5. BRI loads deducted funds onto employee debit cards.
  6. Employee uses debit card to purchase transit fare.

Please note that payroll deductions are taken only 20 day periods per year (pay periods 5 through 24). There are no deductions taken from your pay for pay periods 25, 26, and 1-4 (summer months) and therefore no benefit is provided for non-deducted pay periods. If you are in need of a transit benefit year-round, then you should increase your deduction during the 20 pay periods to allow you to accumulate funds during the year for use during summer months when there is no deduction or benefit. Deductions are taken from your pay bi-weekly, but the transit benefit is issued monthly.

There is a lag time in when you receive your benefit. Deductions taken in one month are issued as your transits benefit the following month. Transit benefits are for the exclusive use of non-parking permit holding employees.

If you are dropped from payroll deduction for any reason (including no pay), which results in your benefit not being deducted, you are responsible for any missed payments. You will receive transit benefit the month following the deductions being taken from your pay.

Low Emissions Vehicles Discount

The Low Emission Vehicle Permit provides a 20% discount off your parking registration. This program encourages the use of low emission vehicles and recognizes the role that they play in helping the university become more sustainable. Vehicles must qualify as EPA Certified SmartWay Elite to be eligible for this discount.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Charging is free but vehicles parked in EV charging spaces must either have a DOTS parking registration or must pay the meter associated with that space. We recognize and appreciate all efforts to help make the University carbon neutral. All originally equipped plug in vehicles will qualify for the Low Emission Vehicle Discount and receive a 20% reduction in their parking registration.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Map

Carpool & Vanpool Incentives

Information on Carpool and Vanpool incentives can be found on the Smart Commute Rideshare page.

Bundle Packs

Bundle pack permits are the perfect solution for faculty and staff who regularly use sustainable transportation but might have only the occasional need to drive a vehicle to campus. Bundle packs are only eligible to UMD Faculty, staff and students who do not have an active parking registration. Each bundle pack allows a vehicle to park on campus for a total of 10 separate days and costs $75.


Faculty/staff bundle packs are valid in lots B, K, P, U, XX1, Z, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 15, 16 & 19.

Guaranteed Ride Home

Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) provides commuters who regularly (twice a week) carpool, vanpool, bike, walk or take transit to work with a FREE and reliable ride home when one of life's unexpected emergencies arise. This service is provided through Commuter Connections.

Commuters may take advantage of GRH up to four times per year to get home for unexpected emergencies such as a personal illness or a sick child. GRH can also be used for unscheduled overtime when your employer mandates that you must stay late. Knowing there's a guaranteed ride home allows one to use sustainable transportation options with peace of mind and confidence. Best of all, the Guaranteed Ride Home service is FREE!

Sign Up For Guaranteed Ride Home

Some restrictions apply so be sure to read the Participation Guidelines.

BikeUMD

The Bike Commuter Incentive program is part of the new Smart Commute initiative run by the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation Services (DOTS).

DOTS provides secure bike parking and shower facilities as an incentive for commuters who choose to travel to campus via bicycle. The Bike Commuter Incentive Program is intended to facilitate controlled access to these facilities for participants in the Smart Commute Program.

To sign-up for the Bike Commuter Incentive Program, UMD affiliates must:

  1. Join Smart Commute. To do so registrants must create a RideAmigos Account (Ter.ps/joinUMDsc). This is a web platform that is the core of Smart Commute - it allows participants to track their trips to campus whether they are by bike, transit, or other modes. It allows DOTS to collect this information to better understand and serve commuters.
  2. Register your bike at bikeindex.org/umd. By registering your bike we are able to verify your ownership and will be able to provide lock-cutting services in the event you lose the key to your lock.
  3. After joining Smart Commute, contact the Bike Coordinator at bike@umd.edu to sign up for the Bike Commuter Incentive Program. Set up a meeting with the Bike Coordinator to review and sign the Regents Drive Garage Fitness Studio Shower Usage Agreement and receive an orientation on the facilities

Once the Agreement has been signed, the Bike Coordinator will assign swipe access to the Regents Drive Garage secure bike parking facility and to the shower facilities in the University Recreation & Wellness spaces in Regents Drive Garage. Shower access is limited to the hours of 6:00 AM and 11:00 AM, Monday - Friday. Alternatively, if the registrant chooses they can receive a paper pass to use the locker room facilities in Ritchie Coliseum. Registrants cannot sign up to use both shower facilities.

Registration in the Bike Commuter Incentive Program does not expire and does not require renewal.