RTC SMART TRIPS is a free service provided by the RTC to assist local businesses to encourage employees to use alternative modes of transportation.

Program information for businesses (PDF format)

Program information for individuals (PDF format)

The following local and national facts reinforce the importance of participating in the Smart Trips program.

Today in the Truckee Meadows

  • On any given day, vehicles emit 310 tons of pollution into the air
  • Residents travel more than 7 million miles per day
  • The typical resident makes eight motor vehicle trips a day, generally to run errands

During the next 20 Years in Washoe County

  • The population is expected to grow 40%
  • The work force is expected to increase 45%
  • Motor vehicle use is projected to increase 15%


  • During the next 20 years, congestion will increase more than 400% on the nation’s freeway system
  • In the average American city, 40% of the land is used for automobiles

Transit Facts

  • A bus with as few as seven passengers is more fuel-efficient than the average single occupant auto used for commuting
  • A single person commuting via transit instead of driving alone will save 200 gallons of gasoline in a year
  • Transit uses less than 1% of the energy consumed in the U.S.

Health Facts

  • Cars release up to 90% of the carbon monoxide found in urban areas. Carbon monoxide restricts the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen to tissues, resulting in dizziness, loss of coordination, and possible death
  • One person using mass transit for a year instead of driving to work saves the environment 62.5 pounds of carbon monoxide
  • Cars pollute the air five times more after a cold start than after a car is warmed up

Tax Advantages

Following are just two examples of ways businesses can participate in this program:

  • The employer may be eligible for federal tax deductions as spelled out in the Internal Revenue Code/Section 132 (f), and the employee receives a tax-free benefit.
  • One Smart Trip option is the Bus Pass Subsidy Program. The RTC will match employer contributions for purchase of monthly bus passes up to 20%.

Example 1

Employer Provides Adult 31-day RTC RIDE Bus Pass Free to Employees:

RTC RIDE Adult 31-Day bus pass $65.00
RTC match at 20% of face value $13.00
Employer’s purchase price $52.00

Employer benefit: The $52.00 per month is tax deductible at the employer’s regular tax rate and a reduction in payroll taxes.

Employee benefit: They receive 31 days of transportation FREE.

Example 2

Employer Provides Adult 31-Day RTC RIDE Bus Pass at Reduced Cost to Employees:

RTC RIDE Adult 31-day bus pass $65.00
Employer subsidizes at 20% of face value $13.00
RTC match at 20% off face value $13.00
Employee’s purchase price $39.00

Employer benefit: The $13.00 per month is tax deductible at the employer’s regular tax rate and a reduction in payroll taxes.

Employee benefit: The $39.00 per month payroll deduction is considered a tax-free benefit.

At a 15% tax bracket, with retail and tax savings, employees may save more than $415 per year!

If you are interested in becoming an RTC SMART TRIPS partner or would like additional information, please contact us at 775-335-1920 or by using our contact form.