Detroit Arsenal Mass Transportation Benefit Program
July 30, 2009
- Detroit Arsenal Transporation remains a succesful endeavor
DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. Aca,!" Establishment of the U.S. Army Mass Transportation Benefit Program (MTBP) was mandated in April 2000 by Presidential Executive Order 13150. MTBP is a Federal benefit program which assists military, civilian, and non-appropriated fund federal employees with transportation services to/from the duty station.
Advantages of using MTBP include alleviating air pollution, lessoning traffic and parking congestion, and saving on vehicular fuel and maintenance. The potential decrease in mileage can benefit those individuals who finance or lease vehicles and can lower insurance costs and minimize depreciation of personally owned automobiles.
Under the MTBP, Detroit Arsenal employees utilize either a van pool or bus-based system, but they cannot be enrolled in both at the same time. MICHIVAN, the van pool portion, remains the most popular. MICHIVAN is owned and operated by VPSI, INC. and is sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Buses operate under the SMART BUS system.
At least five people are required to start a van pool, with a maximum capacity of up to 15 commuters. Each van pool has one primary and one alternate driver. All vans are fully insured and travel on specific routes prescribed for each group. Up to $230 is reimbursable per month for each participant, depending on the location of the commute.
Becoming a van pool rider remains a two-part process. First, participants must call MICHIVAN to check for an available seat in the specified commuting area. When an opening becomes available, commuters then submit the Rider Agreement Form and supporting documents to VPSI, INC. through MICHIVAN. Second, an MTBP application and Commuter Expense Worksheet must be submitted to the USAG-Detroit Arsenal Transportation Office. Applications need to be received by DOT on the 25th of each month, and the voucher generally arrives from DOT via Federal Express approximately five to six weeks after submission.
The Guaranteed Ride Home Program is available for both van pool and bus riders enrolled in MTBP. In the case of personal or family illness, unscheduled overtime, or the spur-of-the-moment departure of a vanpool driver, the Guaranteed Ride Home Program can compensate participants for taxicab fares or rental car fees up to six times per year, but not more than twice a month. Taxicab fares are reimbursable for trips up to 100 miles one way; rental cars for one day, but participants must make their own arrangements.
Currently 589 commuters (85 van poolers/12 bus riders) participate in the Detroit Arsenal MTBP with a monthly disbursement of more than $70,000, quarterly disbursement of more than $210,000, and a yearly disbursement more than $841,000.