WE MAKE sustainable transportation accessible and affordable.  

DOTS offers a variety of discounts and programs that make sustainable commutes feasible for different lifestyles and budgets. 

Vanpool Photo

Pre-tax transit deduction is available 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 Benefits program. BRI issues participants a MasterCard debit card or credit that is accepted only at transit agencies. Pre-tax funds that are deducted from your paycheck are loaded directly onto your assigned debit/credit card. You may then load your WMATA SmarTrip card (at a kiosk or online), purchase MARC Train tickets or any other transit fare media as you would with your own debit/credit card. Transit benefits are for the exclusive use of the employee.

To enroll in the Pre-Tax Transit BenefitS program

  1. 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. Read email from DOTS confirming eligibility with instructions for creating an account on the BRI website and selecting deduction amount.
  3. Receive debit/credit MasterCard at the address provided.
  4. DOTS processes payroll deduction and transfers funds to BRI.
  5. BRI loads deducted funds onto debit/credit card.
  6. Use debit/credit card to purchase transit fare.

Payroll deductions are taken only 20 pay periods per year (pay periods 5 through 24).

There are no deductions taken from your pay for pay periods 25, 26 and 1 through 4 (summer months) and therefore no benefit is provided for non-deducted pay periods. If you are in need of transit benefits year-round, then you should increase your deduction during the 20 pay periods to accumulate funds during the year for use during summer months.

If you are dropped from payroll deduction for any reason (including no pay), which results in your benefits not being deducted, you are responsible for any missed payments.


The Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) provides commuters who regularly (twice a week) choose sustainable transportation 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 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. Please read the participation guidelines.

Electric and Low Emissions Vehicle Discounts 

The Electric and Low Emission Vehicle Permit provides a 20% discount on a parking permit for all vehicles that qualify as EPA Certified SmartWay Elite. This program encourages the use of low emission vehicles and recognizes the role that they play in helping the university become more sustainable.

What is a SmartWay Elite Vehicle?
According to the EPA website:

"Each model year, EPA rates every new car, truck, and Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) for greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions on scales of 1-10. To earn the SmartWay designation, a vehicle must receive a combined score from both scales that is much better than the average vehicle. SmartWay Elite certification is given to only those vehicles that attain the highest scores on both scales."

How do I know if my vehicle qualifies as an EPA Certified SmartWay Elite?
To receive an EV permit discount, please verify that your vehicle qualifies as an EPA Certified SmartWay Elite, and then visit the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage with your vehicle registration. 

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations 

Electric vehicle charging spaces are conveniently located throughout campus. You can view your options on the electric vehicle charging station map. 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. 

Ridesharing Permits

Registered carpoolers receive half-off their parking permits. More information on carpool and vanpool incentives can be found on the Smart Commute carpool and vanpool page.

The Bike Commuter Incentive Program provides secure bike parking and shower facilities for those who choose to commute to campus via bicycle.

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

  1. Join Smart Commute.

  2. Contact the sustainability coordinator at to sign up for the Bike Commuter Incentive Program.

  3. Schedule a meeting with the sustainability coordinator to review and sign the program agreement and receive an orientation on the facilities.

Once the agreement has been signed, the sustainability coordinator will assign swipe access to the secure bike parking facility in Regents Drive Garage and the showers in the Regents RecWell Studios. Shower access is limited to the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., Monday to Friday. Alternatively, if the registrant chooses, they may receive a paper pass to use the locker room facilities in Ritchie Coliseum. Registrants cannot sign up to use both shower facilities.