Metro announces new transit benefit for commuters in 2016

Metro train (ABC7 file photo)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced Friday that the federal transit benefit for public transportation will double to nearly $255 a month compared to $130 per month, where it previously stood, which contributed to a decline in Metro's ridership.

According to Metro, the new transit benefit gives riders the same tax benefits as people who drive and park. More than half of Metro's weekday riders use the transit benefit, which gives a subsidy to federal workers and permits employees at businesses to put aside pre-tax earnings to cover transit costs.

Metro said approximately 253,00 employees in the Washington region receive SmartBenefits and more than 5,200 employers provide it. Employers can now directly load the new transit benefit on employees SmarTrip cards.

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