In Washington DC there is a Mass Transportation Benefit Program for many government employees. The FAQ at the bottom of the page says

Are my personal funds separated from my transit benefits on the same card?

Yes. SmarTrip® cards linked to a transit benefit account store funds in two separate "purses:"

So when riding the metro as a MTB program user, how do you select which purse to spend from? The rules are pretty clear that I can only use the MTB for my commute, how does the scanner know if I am commuting?

This WMATA link suggests there are three different purses, transit, parking, and personal, but not how to use them

  • Do you have the link from somewhere other then DoD?
    – Karlson
    Aug 4, 2015 at 18:20
  • @Karlson see edit.
    – StrongBad
    Aug 4, 2015 at 18:27
  • 1
    I am not sure this is travel related though. May be Workplace?
    – Karlson
    Aug 4, 2015 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


This is a program that is similar to transit programs managed by WageWorks and I think a few others. Basically you don't have any choice in the matter and money will be taken out of the appropriate purse until completely spent and then taken out of the personal purse.

Reason being is that similar to WageWorks the transit benefit will come as an employer contribution or your contribution of pre-tax dollars. The difference being that MTBP can accumulate rather then WageWorks' being burnt at the end of the month.

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