Bipartisan Comstock bill would temporarily provide ride-sharing options to federal employees

U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) joined House colleagues on Wednesday in introducing legislation that would temporarily expand ride-sharing options for federal employees.

Federal workers have seen commute times increase due to construction on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMTA) D.C. Metro system, and the existing federal transportation benefit system does not allow for alternative ride-sharing options.

“As a representative of thousands of federal employees, I have witnessed firsthand how difficult it has become for our federal employees to commute during SafeTrack,” Comstock said. “I supported restoration of parity in commuter tax benefits in the end-of-year budget package, but that was before Metro’s SafeTrack efforts began. As long as SafeTrack is in effect, federal employees must be offered alternative methods of transportation, including ride-sharing platforms. This bill will provide them with much-needed flexibility while Metro tries to get itself to safe and working order.”

Comstock is an original cosponsor of the bill, which was introduced in July. The bill was re-introduced on Wednesday with an extended deadline to reflect SafeTrack construction

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), an original cosponsor of the bill, said that SafeTrack is a critical part of restoring Metro’s world-class transit system, but that the maintenance schedule brings significant transportation challenges for commuters in the region.

“The federal government must offer commuters as many options as possible to mitigate these challenges,” Connolly said. “The ride-sharing economy offers a unique and flexible alternative until full Metro service is restored and should be an option for our federal workforce as they maintain a continuity of operations for the federal government.”

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