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Commuters using public transportation may see more money in their pocket each month after The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 increased monthly transit benefits from $125 a month to $240.

Individuals who previously participated in the Mass Transportation Benefits Program (MTBP) will be eligible for the new amount beginning in February.

According to Ryan Emery, the transportation program coordinator at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB), the increase will help most of those who commute to NSAB using public transportation.

“The average commute in the region costs about a $170 a month. That means those receiving MTBP benefits were paying $45 on average out of pocket. This increase will help cover the commuting costs of the majority of those who commute to NSA Bethesda on a daily basis.”

According to the MTBP website, while the benefit covers claims up to $240, commuters may only claim their actual public transportation expenses. They may not claim parking. Those who are allocated a parking placard at NSAB are not eligible for MTBP benefits.

“For staff who were considering using mass transit but had an issue with cost, it’s my hope that this will act as a catalyst for them to try it,” said Emery.

Those who have submitted their benefits claim for February can go to the MTBP website and adjust it. Those who haven’t submitted yet will do so as they normally do with the increased amount. All claims must be submitted by Feb. 15.

Anyone needing assistance in planning their route or those who have questions regarding the program can contact Emery at 301-319-3818 or ryan.emery@med.navy.mil. Claims can be submitted at https://mtbp.whs.mil/Participant/Welcome.aspx.