Smart Choice (Business Ridership)

What is Smart Choice?

More than 60% of Greater Dayton RTA riders are taking the bus to and from work.  The Smart Choice Commuter Benefit Program allows your company to take advantage of federal tax laws designed to encourage employee use of public transportation.

Smart Choice is most often provided to employees on a pre-tax basis.  The employer purchases a monthly pass on behalf of the employee. The monthly pass amount is deducted from the employee's pay.  The employee's taxable income is reduced, and the employer save money on payroll taxes.

Employers Win

Smart Choice is a very LOW COST but highly valued benefit program for employers.  If your employees struggle with their commute and face issues like parking, vehicle cost, and traffic congestion, taking the Greater Dayton RTA to work is a great alternative.

Employers pay NO payroll taxes (FICA) on this benefit.  Employees use pre-tax dollars to purchase monthly passes. thereby saving them money too.  Offering the Smart Choice Commuter Benefit to your workers will help attract-- and retain --good employees.  By riding the RTA to and from work, employees will enjoy reduced stress, have less chance of accidents and will enjoy overall increased morale.  Smart Choice participants also help the environment by reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.

Employees Win

Employees Save Two Ways

  1. How would you like to save up to 40% on your commuting costs? When you add the cost of gas, wear and tear on the your car, plus regular maintenance like oil changes and tires, your commuting costs increase every year.  Commuting to work on the Greater Dayton RTA bus reduces your very real costs to operate a car.

  2. If that's not enough incentive to encourage your employer to sign up for Smart Choice, remember that it's a pre-tax dollar program. Payroll deductions are made before taxes, saving you money at tax time.


Enrollment is easy and administering the program is even easier.  Monthly ordering allows your employees to make changes when their transit needs change.  After placing your order, your Smart Choice monthly passes will be delivered directly to your HR or payroll departments for distribution to your employees.


Smart Choice falls under Section 132 plans, which are for more flexible than Section 125 plans you're most familiar with.  Compare the differences below:


Section 125 Plans/
Ex:Flex Accounts

Section 132 Plans/
Ex: Smart Choice
Enrollment Period Must be annual Enroll anytime
Reimbursement Period Employee can be reimbursed the full amount of one year's reserved income at any time during the year Employee can be reimbursed only the amount that has been reserved within a given period
Distribution of pre-tax income remaining at end Employee forfeits money (commonly known as "use-it-or-lose-it") No "use-it-or-lose-it" provision. Employees pay only for the passes they use
Employee eligibility Must meet non-discrimination test May be made available to any employee or groups of employees
Reporting requirements Annual reporting required No reporting requirements
Plan documentation Written plan documentation required No written plan documentation required.

Ask your HR or Payroll department about participating in the Smart Choice Commuter Benefit Program today or call (937) 425-8374.  The Greater Dayton RTA will contact your business or organization's HR or finance department about Smart Choice.