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As an added convenience for staff who receive transit benefits, all benefits are now distributed monthly directly onto SmarTrip cards.

To have received November benefits, transit benefit program participants must have made their claims between Oct. 1-15.

For staff who take the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) or Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) commuter buses, benefits will be routed to a non SmarTrip enable provider.

"In the past, distribution of benefits was done in person," said Ryan Emery, Transportation Program Manager for Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB). "This required participants to stand in line and pick up paper fare cards or vouchers. This new claims process takes only three minutes to complete and can be done when it is convenient to you at your workstation."

He added, "The only caveat is that a claim must be made between the 1st and the 15th of every month for the following month's benefit."

Once approved for transit benefits, staff must make a claim online, between the 1st and 15th of each month, to receive them for the following month. If they do not, they forfeit their benefits for the following month.

Emery encourages staff to ensure they are registered for the December benefit period and make their claims before Nov. 15.

To register for the SmartBenefit program, staff must register a SmarTrip card at the website and at the Washington Headquarter Services website. Additional steps are involved for those using the MARC, VRE or MTA commuter buses and can be found at http://www.whs.m il/DFD/Info/allocate.cfm. Participants will receive an email, from, on the 1st, 7th and 14th day of each month reminding them of the need to make a claim for the following month.

For more information, contact NSA Bethesda Transportation Program Manager at Staff may also call the MTB Program Office at (571) 256-0962, or e-mail transitpassw