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TRANSHARE Helps Pay for Your Commute

NIH TRANSHARE is a transportation incentive program for NIH employees, managed by the Office of Research Services. It permits federal agencies to participate in state or local programs that encourage employees to use bus, rail, or similar mass public transportation. Employees can receive a tax exempt benefit/subsidy for using public transportation to commute to work. Over the last few years, the monthly dollar amount employees may receive has increased and eligibility has expanded to include the Commissioned Corps.

Federal employees are eligible to receive this subsidy, but the legal definitions exclude certain categories of NIH personnel: visiting fellows, IRTA fellows, NRSA fellows, NRC fellows, summer aides, Fogarty scholars, and guest researchers.

Since the NIH TRANSHARE Program began in FY 1992, NIH has been working to expand the definition to include those in research training programs. ORS has, for the last 4 years, submitted a legislative proposal to DHHS to expand eligibility for participation in TRANSHARE. But the research training programs continue to be excluded under the law.

NIH will continue to pursue the legislative avenue, but may also have to turn to the appropriation path to seek approval. Currently, NIH has approximately 1,500 employees enrolled in the TRANSHARE Program. Each of these employees receives up to a $42/month subsidy.

While TRANSHARE plays a big role in reducing traffic flow on campus, so do carpooling and bicycling. NIH applauds employees who have chosen these voluntary modes of transportation to commute to work.

NIH has 450 carpools with 920 employees enrolled. In some cases, vehicles have been reduced from 5 to 1. In addition to carpools, NIH has an active Bicycle Club operated under R&W. More than 150 bicycle parking racks/lockers are located throughout the campus, and the Division of Public Safety provides a bicycle registration program.

The NIH Transportation Management Plan continually seeks to improve parking capability on and off campus, especially as major construction projects affect various parking areas. It reports that commuters coming from the I-270 North corridor now have a newly opened HOV lane.

As everyone is aware, parking on campus has recently become tighter. NIH is currently working on creative short- and long-term measures to minimize the impact of ongoing and future construction projects, but it is too big a job for one office to manage alone. It will require all employees working together. Your ideas and input are welcome. The NIH parking and transportation working group (P&TWG) is soliciting more members to work on these issues. Email Tim Wheeles (tw36t@nih.gov) with your ideas.

In the meantime, you can go to the P&TWG Web page to find out about off-campus parking, shuttle service, TRANSHARE subsidies, ride sharing, etc.: http://www.nih.gov/od/ors/parking/parking.htm. Or call the Employee Transportation Services Office, 2-RIDE, for more information.


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