E-mail a link to this directive

EMPLOYEE PARKING, RIDESHARING, AND MASS TRANSIT BENEFIT PROGRAM

DAO 217-8: EMPLOYEE PARKING, RIDESHARING, AND MASS TRANSIT BENEFIT PROGRAM
Number: DAO 217-8
Effective Date:  2005-03-30

Office name change update, effective 11-13-2014, per DOO 20-1, Director for Facilities and Environmental Quality.

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

.01 This Order prescribes the Department of Commerce (the Department) policies for implementing the employee parking, ridesharing, and mass transit benefit programs.

.02 This revision reflects a new title, new regulations, the additional requirement to provide a mass transit benefit program, and revisions to prior Section 6, now Section 7, Parking for Employees with Physical Disabilities.

SECTION 2. AUTHORITIES.

.01 Employee Parking - 41 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 102-74.265 through 102-74.310, sets forth government-wide policies for employee parking programs.

.02 Ridesharing - 41 CFR 102-74.205 through 102-74.225, and Executive Order (E.O.) 12191, "Federal Facility Ridesharing Program," require agencies to promote the use of ridesharing as a means to conserve petroleum, reduce congestion, improve air quality, and provide an economical way for Federal employees to commute to and from work.

.03 5 U.S.C. 7905, which authorizes agencies to establish programs to encourage employees and members of uniformed services to use means other than single occupancy vehicles for their commutes to and from work.

.04 Mass Transit Benefits - E.O. 13150, "Federal Workforce Transportation," requires agencies to establish a mass transit benefit program to encourage employees to use mass transportation for their commute to and from work.

SECTION 3. SCOPE.

.01 The provisions of this Order concerning employee parking apply to all facilities that are owned, leased, or managed by Department organizations in the United States, its territories and possessions, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

.02 The provisions of this Order concerning the mass transit benefit program apply to all covered Department employees.

.03 The provisions of this Order concerning ridesharing apply to facilities having an employee population of at least 100, unless otherwise indicated. Where a facility is occupied by several departments or agencies, the organization having the largest number of occupants will designate an employee ridesharing coordinator to represent all of the organizations in the facility. In other shared facilities, where the population is less than 100 employees, senior officials for those facilities will develop plans and procedures for their locations as required by the Public Buildings Service of the General Services Administration (GSA).

.04 Department employees assigned to facilities occupied and controlled by other agencies are subject to those agencies' policies and procedures.

SECTION 4. DEFINITIONS.

.01 "Carpool", as defined by 41 CFR 102-71.20, means a group of two or more people regularly using a vehicle for transportation to and from work on a continuing basis.

.02 "Employee" means any official or employee of the Department, as defined under 5 U.S.C. 2105, and members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Corps. It does not include contractors.

.03 "Employee parking" means the parking spaces assigned for employee-owned vehicles (other than those classified as "official parking"). "Employee" here means Federal employees, but may include contractor and tenant employees who are provided with parking in Government-controlled spaces.

.04 "Employee with a disability" means an individual with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual in accordance with 29 CFR 1630.2(g)(1). For exceptions to the definition of disability, see 29 CFR 1630.3.

.05 "Fare media" means tickets, passes, or farecards, entitling riders to transportation, or vouchers that may be exchanged only for tickets, passes, or farecards. It does not include cash payments.

.06 "Mass transit" means transportation systems available to the general public, such as subways, buses, ferries, and commuter rail systems. It also includes commuter highway vehicles if the seating capacity is at least six adults, not including the driver, and if 80% of the mileage is used for transporting employees to and from their places of employment.

.07 "Ridesharing", as defined by 41 CFR 102-71.20, means the sharing of the commute to and from work by two or more people, on a continuing basis, in any mode of transportation.

.08 "Vanpool", as defined by 41 CFR 102-72.20, means a group of at least eight persons using a passenger van or a commuter bus designed to carry 10 or more passengers. Such a vehicle must be used for transportation to and from work in a single daily round trip.

.09 "Visitor parking" means parking spaces reserved for visitors to Federal facilities, who are conducting official government business.

SECTION 5. RESPONSIBILITIES.

.01 Parking and Ridesharing - Department Responsibilities. Subject to the overall direction of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA), the Director for the Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality (OFEQ) shall designate a Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB) Parking Coordinator responsible for the following:

a. Serving as a technical advisor for all Department employee parking and ridesharing programs;

b. Collecting data and preparing reports required by GSA;

c. Recommending and managing the numbers and locations of HCHB official and visitor parking spaces;

d. Receiving, reviewing, and approving employee applications for parking;

e. Arranging for the ticketing and/or removal of illegally parked vehicles in HCHB parking spaces, in coordination with the Office of Security; and

f. Assisting employees with carpool parking spaces.

.02 Parking and Ridesharing -- Operating Unit Responsibilities. The CFO/ASA and the heads of Operating Units are responsible for the following:

a. Preparing plans for the management and use of parking spaces at all facilities nationwide under their control, or for facilities shared with other Federal agencies where they have the lead for the Federal parking and ridesharing programs. These plans shall include procedures to:

1. Assign HCHB parking spaces allocated to their units;

2. Assign Department-controlled parking spaces, or those available from other agencies, to employees of field offices;

3. Develop and implement effective ridesharing policies and programs to encourage employee participation; and

4. Provide information to the Department and GSA, as requested, concerning parking and ridesharing programs.

b. Assigning parking spaces (including spaces allocated by GSA or other providers to field offices or other facilities) to vanpools, carpools, executive personnel, employees scheduled for shift work, and employees with disabilities. If it is necessary for operations, this assignment shall also include a limited number of parking permits to individuals who regularly use their privately-owned vehicles for Government business.

c. Appointing an employee transportation coordinator at each facility, who will manage the day-to-day procedures for employee parking and ridesharing. A list of employee transportation coordinators, by Operating Unit, will be provided to the Director, OFEQ, and updated as changes occur.

.03 Mass Transit Benefits -- Department Responsibilities. The CFO/ASA is responsible for the following:

a. Providing Department-wide oversight of the mass transit benefit program; and

b. Generating and furnishing reports required by internal and external organizations.

.04 Mass Transit Benefits - Operating Unit Responsibilities. The Administrative Officers of Operating Units are responsible for the following:

a. Developing and implementing procedures to ensure that funds, property, and other program assets are properly accounted for and safeguarded against fraud, waste, and abuse;

b. Providing oversight to track the dollar amount of mass transit benefits issued to employees, and the funds expended in the program;

c. Ensuring that program participation is limited to eligible Department civil service employees and the NOAA Corps; and

d. Ensuring that the mass transit benefits do not exceed the lesser of employees' actual commuting costs or the amount permitted by the Internal Revenue Service to be excluded from income as a qualified transportation fringe benefit under 26 U.S.C. 132(f).

SECTION 6. PARKING SPACE ASSIGNMENT PRIORITIES.

.01 In accordance with 41 CFR 102-74.285, Department organizations must reserve official parking spaces in the following order of priority:

a. Official postal vehicles at buildings containing the U.S. Postal Service's mailing operations;

b. Federally-owned vehicles used to apprehend criminals, fight fires and handle other emergencies;

c. Private vehicles owned by Members of Congress (but not their staffs);

d. Private vehicles owned by Federal judges (appointed under Article III of the Constitution), which may be parked in those spaces assigned for the use of the Court, with priority for them set by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts;

e. Other federally-owned and leased vehicles, including those in motor pools or assigned for general use;

f. Service vehicles, vehicles used in child care center operations and vehicles of patrons and visitors (Federal agencies must allocate parking for visitors with disabilities whenever an agency's mission requires visitor parking); and

g. Private vehicles owned by employees, using spaces not needed for official business.

.02 In accordance with 41 CFR 101-102-74.305, Department organizations must assign available parking spaces not needed for official parking (paragraph 6.01 of this Order) to employees using the following order of priority:

a. Employees with disabilities which limit or impair the ability to walk;

b. Executive personnel and persons who work unusual hours;

c. Vanpool/carpool vehicles;

d. Privately-owned vehicles of occupant agency employees that are regularly used for government business at least 12 days per month and that qualify for reimbursement of mileage and travel expenses under government travel regulations; and

e. Other privately-owned vehicles of employees, on a space-available basis. (In locations where parking allocations are made on a zonal basis, GSA and affected agencies may cooperate to issue additional rules, as appropriate.)

f. Persons with medical conditions (not amounting to a disability) which limit or impair the ability to walk.

.03 Subject to the availability of satisfactory and secure space and facilities, areas shall be reserved for the parking of bicycles and other two-wheeled vehicles.

a. Motorcycles will be required to display valid permits in locations where permits are required.

b. Bicycles shall be parked in designated areas, and shall not be transported on elevators or via stairways, or parked in offices.

SECTION 7. PARKING FOR EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES OR MEDICAL CONDITIONS WHICH LIMIT OR IMPAIR THE ABILITY TO WALK.

.01 General. Employees with disabilities receive priority use of parking spaces not required for official needs (See paragraphs 6.01 and 6.02 of this Order). The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 701 et seq., does not require accommodation for employees with temporary physical disabilities. However, each Department facility may grant requests for parking spaces to employees with temporary physical disabilities (medical conditions) which limit or impair the ability to walk, subject to the medical review criteria below, if spaces are not required for official needs and not committed to other priority uses as provided in paragraph 6.02 of this Order.

.02 Medical Review.

a. Every employee seeking parking based upon a disability or medical condition which limits or impairs the ability to walk must submit the following to the Medical Officer for the Department facility: (1) a written request from the employee, and (2) at the employee's manager's request, a signed letter from the employee's physician providing the employee's (a) diagnosis, (b) prognosis, and (c) the duration of the individual's impairment. The Medical Officer will meet with each employee who requests parking due to a disability in order to evaluate the request. The Medical Officer must be authorized by the employee in writing to contact the physician providing the employee's diagnosis for any necessary clarification. Failure to provide necessary documentation where it has been requested will result in denial of the request.

b. The Medical Officer is responsible for reviewing all requests for parking based upon disability and recommending approval or denial to the facility parking coordinator. Parking requests based on a temporary medical condition which limits or impairs the ability to walk are further subject to the facility parking coordinator's determination of availability of space. A recommendation of approval by the Medical Officer does not guarantee parking accommodation in the case of a temporary medical condition.

.03 Extensions and Priority. There will be no automatic extension of a permit for temporary disability once the recommended term of the permit expires. If there is a waiting list for spaces for the temporarily disabled, the Department is not under any obligation to renew or extend the permit, even if the disability that originally led to approval of the permit has not changed.

.04 Review of Permit Eligibility. The Department may conduct reviews of permit eligibility from time to time as necessary.

SECTION 8. PARKING ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES.

.01 In the case where an Operating Unit controls or leases an employee parking facility, that Operating Unit will be responsible for enforcing the parking rules by reviewing and verifying employee parking applications, and by other methods of control.

.02 Parking privileges may be suspended for up to six months at any facility controlled or leased by the Department or its Operating Units for misrepresentation of carpooling membership or parking qualification, or for violation of other parking rules.

.03 Parking permits are not transferrable to other employees. Loaning a permit to another employee may be justification for termination of the permit.

.04 Specific parking violations include, but are not limited to the following: failure to display parking permit, using an expired parking permit, leaving open spaces in the stack parking, and unauthorized wall parking with a stack permit.

SECTION 9. RIDESHARING.

The CFO/ASA and the Heads of Operating Units shall:

.01 Promote the use of ridesharing for their employees to commute to and from work;

.02 Seek assistance from community organizations and Government agencies to help employees establish or join carpools/vanpools;

.03 Respond to requests for information from GSA regarding their ridesharing programs; and

.04 Encourage ridesharing by providing employees who participate with free or subsidized parking. (Note: At least one member of each ridesharing group parking in a Department-controlled space must be a full-time Department employee.)

SECTION 10. MASS TRANSIT BENEFITS -- POLICY.

.01 In accordance with E.O. 13150, the Department and all Operating Units must provide mass transit benefits for all employees who travel to and from offices within the National Capital Region (NCR).

.02 The Department and all Operating Units must offer to employees in field offices outside the NCR either:

a. The same transit benefits as those provided to employees in the NCR, or

b. The opportunity to use their own pre-tax income to purchase bus passes, train tickets, or other forms of fare media.

.03 The dollar amount of the benefit provided to each participating employee may not exceed the lesser of: the employee's actual commuting costs; or the maximum amount allowed by the Internal Revenue Code as a qualified transportation fringe benefit excludable from income under 26 U.S.C. 132(f).

.04 Operating Units are encouraged to coordinate their programs with other Operating Units, to the extent practicable, to achieve efficiency and equity. This may be particularly advantageous to Operating Units in locations with small numbers of employees.

SECTION 11. MASS TRANSIT BENEFITS -- LIMITATIONS.

.01 Employees may not receive the mass transit benefit simultaneously with another form of transportation benefit, such as free or subsidized parking supplied by the Department or other Federal agencies, either as individuals, or as members of carpools.

.02 The value of a benefit to an individual employee under a program established under the provisions of this notice may not exceed the lesser of either the employee's total commuting expenses per month or the maximum allowed by law.

.03 Employees may use mass transit benefits only for their commute to and from work via mass transportation.

.04 Benefits are available only for the cost of the mass transportation fare. Employees may not include the cost of parking when they calculate the monthly cost of using mass transportation.

.05 Fare media cannot be transferred and are to be used only for the commute to and from work. Giving or selling fare media to other individuals is prohibited, even if the other individuals are eligible to receive this benefit.

SECTION 12. MASS TRANSIT BENEFITS - REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION.

Each Operating Unit participating in the mass transit benefit program must have an operating plan that includes the following elements:

.01 A list of the organizational components covered by the plan;

.02 The estimated cost and number of employees participating in the program;

.03 The types of mass transportation or specific transit systems covered;

.04 The type and monetary value of benefits provided;

.05 The requirements for employee eligibility;

.06 A designation of parties responsible for program administration, evaluation, and reporting;

.07 A description of the system to be used for the payment, accounting, and tracking of costs associated with the program;

.08 A description of the system to be used for controlling distribution of tickets, passes, or farecards;

.09 The methods or procedures for safeguarding against improper use by employees;

.10 A plan for annual reviews to ensure that financial and management controls safeguard against fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of Federal funds;

.11 The methods and schedules for evaluating the program;

.12 The effective dates of the program; and

.13 The assurance that the Operating Unit's partnering and labor-management obligations are met with respect to implementation of a plan. (If an agreement is in effect that covers mass transit benefits, the agreement will remain in effect, notwithstanding the issuance of this Order.)

SECTION 13. MASS TRANSIT BENEFITS - PROGRAM MANAGEMENT.

Each Operating Unit participating in the mass transit benefit program is required to:

.01 Maintain a current list of employees participating in the program;

.02 Ensure that employees receiving the mass transit benefit are not simultaneously receiving another benefit, such as free or subsidized parking, either as individuals, or as members of carpools;

.03 Ensure that a chain of accountability exists for the fare media; and

.04 Furnish any required reports.

SECTION 14. EFFECT ON OTHER ORDERS.

This Order supersedes Department Administrative Order 217-8, dated January 1, 1985.

Signed by: Director for Administrative Services

Approved by: Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration

Office of Primary Interest: Office of Facilities and Environmental Quality

Questions and Comments

Send Questions or Comments on the Commerce Directives Management program to Directives@doc.gov.

Office of Privacy and Open Government
Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

 

Page last updated:February 16, 2010