New guidance clarifies reimbursement for use of rideshare by federal employees

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In recent years, a new kind of transportation service provider, known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), has begun operation across the United States and the world. TNCs connect passengers with drivers for hire via websites and mobile apps.

GSA periodically issuesFederal Travel Regulation (FTR) bulletins to clarify travel regulations for federal agencies and employees, and we recently issued a bulletin on travel reimbursement for TNCs. This bulletin provides information to agencies for the use and reimbursement of TNCs while on official government travel.

The below Q&A provides some initial clarity on this bulletin on the use and reimbursement of TNCs while on official government travel.

What does this bulletin mean?

GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy is responsible for issuing travel and relocation policy through the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR), and you canread the full bulletin here. Currently, the regulations allow for federal travelers to use TNCs. The simple answer is that: yes, as a federal employee traveling on official business, you can be reimbursed for rideshares in accordance with your agency procedures and local laws.

What should federal agencies do now?

Agencies may authorize and reimburse an employee for the use of TNCs for travelers when it is advantageous to the government and permissible under local laws and ordinances. The bulletin clarifies the FTR and makes no changes to the regulation which allows for reimbursement for the use of TNCs.  

Each agency determines and manages the final authorization and approval of travel expenses based on its mission and its internal agency policy.

Agencies should review their internal policies regarding the use of special conveyances for employees on temporary duty/official travel and ensure their employees are authorized ground transportation options based upon efficiency and cost effectiveness in accordance to local laws and ordinances.

What should federal employees do prior to use of TNCs?

Federal employees should be familiar with their agency’s policy prior to using a TNC for official travel purposes.

When is it effective that federal travelers can use TNCs?

The FTR currently allows agencies to reimburse employees who use TNCs on official government travel following their agency policy and procedures.

Do agencies reimburse federal employees who use TNC’s when they are not on official travel?

Employees should check with their agency procedures for information of whether or not their agency reimburses for use of TNCs for work purposes in the local area.

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

You may send an email totravelpolicy@gsa.gov.

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