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. 

People waiting at the bus stop

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.

COVID-19 Precautions

Per local mandates, taxi and ride-hail drivers commissioned by Guaranteed Ride Home are required to wear protective personal equipment (face coverings/masks, and/or gloves). For the protection of drivers and yourself, passengers should also wear a face covering.

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.

Carpool Permits*

A carpool permit gives you a 50 percent discount on your annual permit! Our Smart Commute platform matches you with other university members who want to share their commute as well. Carpool permit registrations will open in early August, 2021. Learn more.

Green Vehicle Discount*

Annual permit holders whose vehicles qualify as EPA SmartWay Elite can receive 20 percent off their parking permit. If you previously received a green vehicle discount and still drive an EPA SmartWay Elite vehicle, you can renew by emailing First-time green vehicle discount recipients should verify that their vehicles qualify, and then visit the DOTS Office in Regents Drive Garage with their vehicle registration.  

*Carpool permits and green vehicle discounts are only available for faculty, staff and students with annual or semester permits.

The Bike Commuter Incentive Program provides free access to a secure bike pen and shower facilities inside Regents Drive Garage for those who commute to campus via bicycle. This program is open to UMD students, faculty and staff.

Sign-up for the Bike Commuter Incentive Program in three easy steps:

  1. Join Smart Commute.

  2.  Register your bike

  3. Fill out  Bike Commuter Incentive form.

After submitting the form, you will receive an email by the next business day confirming that your University ID card is enabled for swipe access to the bike parking pen and the shower facilities.You’ll also receive instructions on how to get to these facilities.

New for Fall 2021, open to members of the Bike Commuter Incentive, the Rainy Day Bike Rewards program is designed to reward bicycle commuters with a free daily parking permit for every 20 one-way trips to or from campus on the bike. Up to seven passes will be available to earn per semester, each one being awarded after 20 one-way bike commutes. Passes not used in the semester will still be available for use the following semester. The program is available to faculty, staff and students who do not live on campus.

The program and trip logging is administered through an integration of two platforms: the Strava mobile app and UMD’s Smart Commute platform. Accounts for each are required.

Sign up for the Rainy Day Bike Rewards program.