Frequently Asked Questions

Questions?

CommuterChoice

Phone Icon(617) 384 RIDE (7433)

 

For immediate assistance with issues related to your discounted MBTA monthly pass:

Crosby Benefits

Phone Icon(800) 462 2235 #6

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the Harvard University Transit Pass Program?

With very few exceptions, benefits eligible faculty and staff who work 17.5 hours or more and paid directly by Harvard University are eligible for this benefit. New employees should allow 5-9 weeks from the start of their employment to receive their first transit order.

What information do faculty and staff need to enroll?

Faculty and staff need a Harvard ID and PIN to enroll at the online ordering system. By ordering, employees authorize Harvard to payroll deduct their portion of the cost of the order. If you do not have a Harvard ID and PIN, email CommuterChoice or call 617-384-RIDE(7433) or Crosby Benefits: 1-800-462-2235 # 6 to request a Paper Purchasing Form. To receive order confirmations and messages, employees must enter a valid email address.

Does Harvard subsidize transit passes?

Yes and No. Harvard offers a 50% subsidy for one monthly MBTA pass for each eligible employee. Private Transit Products are not subsidized, however by purchasing through Harvard’s program, employees receive pre-tax savings. The savings will vary depending upon your tax bracket and withholdings but can be up to 30-35%.

How do faculty and staff order Transit Products and what are the ordering deadlines?

Faculty and staff with a Harvard ID and PIN can order a subsidized MBTA monthly pass and/or non-subsidized transit products at the online ordering system. If you do not have a Harvard ID and PIN, email CommuterChoice or call 617-384-RIDE(7433) or Crosby Benefits: 1-800-462-2235 # 6 to request a Paper Purchasing Form. The order deadline for online enrollment is the first day of the month prior to the month of use. For example, order your pass online by midnight on March 1 for April usage. The deadline for a paper order form is the 25th of the second month prior to the month of use. For example, submit your paper form by February 25th for an April pass.

As a new employee, when should I order my pass and when can I expect my first Transit Order products?

New employees should allow 5-9 weeks from the start of their employment to receive their first transit order. To expedite the process, try logging into the online ordering system as soon as possible. New employees hired through the ASPIRE interface automatically enter the payroll system as an “ineligible” pay category. The transition to a “paid” pay category normally occurs with receipt of your first paycheck. If you receive an error message at your initial login, this switch probably has not occurred. Every Thursday evening Harvard sends an eligibility file to Crosby Benefit Systems so by Friday at 3PM employees should try to login and to place their order. If unsuccessful, continue to try on consecutive Friday afternoons and again until midnight of the first of the month, as Harvard also sends an eligibility file on the last day of each month.

May I purchase BOTH Transit Products AND an annual Parking Permit at Harvard?

No. Harvard does not allow employees to purchase both Transit Products (i.e. a subsidized MBTA monthly pass and/or private transit products) and an annual parking permit. However, a subsidized MBTA monthly pass and/or private transit products may be purchased in conjunction with an EVENING COMMUTER permit, a MOTORCYCLE permit, or DAILY permits.

How do I return my parking permit to become eligible for Transit Products?

Plan early (8 to 9 weeks in advance) and email CommuterChoice or call 617-384-RIDE(7433), to walk you through the process and discuss timing and deadlines. One of the first steps will be to return your parking permit to the Campus Service Center, Smith Campus Center 8th floor (Formerly Holyoke Center).

How do I change my transit order, make changes to my account information, or drop out of the program?

Visit the online ordering system. At the Home page, modify existing order or cancel order. Click “Transit Order” from the left side menu to add additional products to your order.

How do I update my home address?

Update your home address through PeopleSoft. If you select an International address, you will automatically be disqualified from the transportation benefit system.

How and when do I pay for my Transit Products?

You must pay via pre-tax payroll deduction, which offers additional savings on your transit products in the vicinity of of 30%-35% (in addition to your 50% Harvard subsidy on MBTA monthly passes). Pre-tax savings will vary depending upon your tax bracket and withholdings and therefore will be reflected in your pay stub. Your pay stub will show the cost of your pass, including: Harvard’s subsidy to the MBTA monthly pass (TRANSNTB); Employee’s Pre-tax Contribution (TRANSBT); Employee’s Post-tax Contribution (TRANSAT).

Deductions are taken from paychecks the month prior to use. Employees paid weekly will see deductions taken in the third check of the month and employees paid bi-weekly will see deductions taken in the second check of the month. If a single paycheck doesn’t cover the full amount of the pass, the remainder is deducted in subsequent paychecks.

Is there a limit to the pre-tax Transit Product deduction?

Yes. The 2014 IRS pre-tax allowance for transit is $130/month.

What happens if my transit order is not received, or defective?

Contact Crosby Benefit Systems, 1-800-462-2235 #6 or email

What happens if I lose my pass and/or product(s) or if it is/they are stolen?

Non-received, defective, lost, or stolen Local Bus or Link Pass CharlieCard?

No paperwork necessary. Call Crosby Benefit Systems: 1-800-462-2235 #6 (Monday - Thursday, 8am - 6 pm and Friday, 8am - 5pm) or email to have a new card sent to you. A new card will be sent to your home within 1-3 business days. Your old CharlieCard will be deactivated.

Non-received or defective Commuter Rail, Boat or Private Transit Product?

Please complete the Non-Received/Incorrect Pass Affidavit. This form must completed and received at Crosby Benefit Systems no later than the 10th of the month. This form is NOT for lost Commuter Rail, Boat or Private Transit Products, as these items cannot be replaced.

To request reimbursement for commuting expenses incurred because a product was not received or defective:

Please submit a written request by email. When submitting requests, receipts are necessary and can be mailed to CommuterChoice, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Smith Campus Center, Room 738 Cambridge, MA 02138 or PDF'd or emailed. Please be sure to also include: your full name, your Harvard University ID number (first four digits only), a contact phone number and whether your paycheck is direct deposited. Harvard cannot be responsible for lost or stolen transit products thus will not reimburse for out of pocket expenses.

Do I qualify for Senior/TAP Pass?

Seniors 65 and older with a valid Senior ID may purchase the monthly MBTA Senior/TAP pass through Harvard’s online ordering system.

Persons with disabilities having a valid TAP (Transportation Access Pass) ID may purchase the monthly MBTA Senior/TAP pass through Harvard’s online ordering system.

How do I get a car insurance discount as a regular transit rider?

Many insurance companies offer up to a 10% discount on parts of your auto insurance policy when you submit proof of participation in Harvard’s Transit Program for 11 of 12 months. At “Order History” from the online ordering system, click “Order History Letter” which will generate a letter with past order information which can be used as proof of participation. Be sure to contact your insurer regarding eligibility and documentation.