More than 3,000 Hillsborough County residents are employed by MacDill Air Force Base (AFB), home of U.S. Central Command or Centcom.
With such a concentration of employment in the Tampa area, there's a good chance that you are associated with MacDill, whether it be by direct employment, contract work or family and friends. Did you know that MacDill AFB offers its personnel FREE transportation to the base?
If you live in Brandon, Valrico, Riverview, and the Fishhawk areas east of Tampa, MacDill, through their Transportation Incentive Program (TIP), provides FREE monthly HART Commuter Express passes, a $90 value.
If you have not signed up for MacDill's TIP, you are missing out on a benefit that could save you hundreds of dollars a month in gas and tolls. More than 1,450 personnel take advantage of a daily, hassle-free express bus ride or van pool, which is 100 percent paid for by Uncle Sam.
According to MacDill, the TIP has its origins from Executive Order 13150, which "seeks to reduce traffic congestion, fuel consumption and emissions by military members and federal employees by mandating a public transportation program that offers assistance with commuting costs".
Don't live in the above areas? TIP also includes TBARTA Commuter Services, a van pool program. The van pool program provides commuters, in groups of five or more, funding to secure a passenger van for their daily commute. For information on the van pool program visit www.tampabayrideshare.org/vanpool.
As with any program, there are a few stipulations to the TIP program. You obviously can't intend to profit off the sale or trade of bus passes and van pool vouchers. And TIP applications shall be based solely on costs associated with the use of a qualified mode of transportation to and from MacDill in conjunction with employment by the Department of Defense (DoD).
Are you eligible for the TIP Benefit?
1) DoD active duty military members
2) DoD Reserve Military members (including both Reservists and National Guard Members) on active duty status
3) DoD Federal civilian employees
4) DoD NAF personnel
Per MacDill: The TIP program is managed by the 6th Comptroller Squadron, Financial Services Office in bldg. 149 on Hillsborough Loop. After identifying the service or bus route that will best serve you, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy of the application. Applications must be returned in person so eligibility requirements can be verified using the members DoD issued ID card. Applications can be dropped off any duty day and are processed at the end of each month. Riders typically are able to pick up their bus pass/van pool vouchers by the third week of the month after they apply.
Save a lot of money and the environment, help keep Tampa's congestion down and learn to relax on board one of our buses straight from a park-n-ride to the base. Sounds like a no-risk, big reward plan!