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The Moody Bible Institute Transit Benefit is a program whereby you may set aside dollars from your paycheck to pay for your public transportation expenses (i.e. bus, subway and train). Under the MBI Transit Benefit you will continue to pay for your own commuting expenses, but the program makes it possible for you to increase your take-home pay by reducing your federal and state income taxes and your Social Security (FICA) taxes. Up to $270 per month may be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis, and any amount over $270 will be deducted on a post-tax basis.
How does the program work?
If you commute on public transportation, you make an election to set aside a portion of your salary to be applied toward your transportation expenses. This money is deducted from your paycheck, with up to $270 of the deduction being taken out on a pre-tax basis. This money may be applied in one of three ways:
- RTA Prepaid MasterCard
You will receive a card that will be electronically reloaded each month on the 20th with the dollar amount that you select. This prepaid card may be used to purchase Metra, South Shore, CTA, and Pace transit passes. This may be done at transit stations, by Metra through their website, at any currency exchange locations, and at most grocery stores. The cards can carry a positive balance, so if all the money is not used up in a given month, it will not be lost.
If you have a Ventra account with the CTA, you may sign up to have money deducted from your paycheck and directly deposited in your Ventra account each month. In order to do this, you must provide your 12 digit Ventra Transit ID Number. If you do not have a Ventra account, you may sign up for one directly with the CTA on the Ventra web site . When the CTA has finished processing your request and given you your account number, you may then sign for Moody's transit benefit program.
- Pace Vanpool
If you are riding in a Pace Vanpool, you may sign up to have your monthly premium deposited directly into your Vanpool account. To sign up, you must provide your 4-5 digit Pace Vanpool account number. If the amount you choose does not directly match your monthly bill amount from Pace, they will either mail you a bill for the remainder or credit your account with a positive balance. For more information about vanpools, review the information on the Pace web site .
Changes (including new enrollments, drops, or skipping a month) may be made to your transit benefit throughout the year. Forms are due by the 5th of the month in which you wish to make the change. Forms received after the 5th will be processed the following month. Please fill out the applicable form below as soon as you determine that you would like to make a change or enroll in the program.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: I don’t always use public transportation; sometimes I work remotely or drive. Is this benefit still useful?
A: Yes! For both Metra and Ventra, if you choose a specific funding amount, it can be used at your discretion and will not expire. For Metra, you might consider purchasing a 10-ride pass if you won’t fully utilize a monthly pass. For Ventra, you can simply carry a balance on your card and pay for the train or bus as needed. Pace Vanpool costs are based on the number of riders, so these work best for consistent commutes.
Q: I will not need my normal transit amount. Can I stop or change it this month?
A: Yes! To make changes to the amount scheduled at the end of a month, just submit the transit benefit election form by the 5th of that month. If you suspend the benefit, the payroll deduction will be paused and the funds/pass will not be sent to your account or mastercard at the end of the month.
Q: I suspended my transit benefit for this month. Will it automatically resume next month?
A: No. If you wish to restart or begin a transit election, you must submit the transit benefit election form by the 5th of the month in which you need the funds to be sent.
Q: The transit benefit election form doesn’t list the exact amount I need for my typical Ventra/Metra/Pace costs. Can I list a different amount?
A: The election form lists the most common transit deduction amounts, based on the cost of typical Metra zones, the size of a typical vanpool, etc. Please reach out to Rae Paul if you need an alternate amount. Not all special amounts may be available as a payroll deduction, and you may need to choose a slightly larger or smaller deduction if your exact amount is not available.
Q: I need to purchase a ticket that costs more than my transit election or fund balance. Can I add funds during the month?
A: For Ventra riders, you can add personal funds to your Ventra card/account at any time. Please note: your Ventra account will always utilize any available passes before paying for a ride through account funds.
A: For Metra riders, you cannot add personal funds to the RTA Mastercard. If you need to purchase a ticket greater than your Mastercard balance, you will need to supply this through your own funds by using a different payment method.
A: For Pace Vanpool riders, if your monthly bill is greater than the transit amount you have elected, you will be billed for the difference and must pay that from personal funds.
Q: How do I view my transit funds balance?
A: For Ventra riders, you can view your current funds, passes, and commuting history by logging into your Ventra app or account at www.ventrachicago.com.
A: For Metra riders, you can call RTA using the number on your Mastercard, or you can log into mytransitbenefit.com to view your balance and commuting history.
A: For Pace riders, you can view your account via the monthly statement provided by Pace.
Q: Do my transit funds ever expire?
A: Unused funds in your Ventra account, RTA Mastercard, or Pace Vanpool account never expire. 30-day passes do expire and will have an expiration date listed. Check your Ventra app or RTA account to see if you’ve purchased a pass with an expiration date.
For additional information, contact Kris Akut.