Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

TRAVEL
95.07
Revised 10-13
Travel Services
335-2034

Transportation

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REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

Reimbursable transportation expenses include all necessary official travel on railroads, airlines, ships, buses, private automobiles, and other usual means of conveyance.

Residence and Official Station

Transportation costs between home and official station are a personal obligation of the employee. If a traveler's official residence is not located within the limits of his/her official station, travel expense reimbursement is allowed from official station or official residence, whichever is less. See 95.01 for definitions of official station and official residence.

MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE

When transportation on a scheduled airline is available, the lesser of tourist- class air fare or the current state contract air fare is the maximum amount that is reimbursed regardless of the mode of transportation actually used. (Contact a Department of Enterprise Services (DES)-approved travel agency for current state contract air rates.)

A traveler may elect to use a slower means of transportation instead of an available scheduled airline. In such a case, reimbursement for additional food and lodging expenses is not allowed. The difference in travel time between that spent on tourist air travel and the slower mode of transportation must be accounted for by leave status, e.g., annual leave.

Exceptions

Exceptions to this maximum allowance may be permitted under the following circumstances:

The responsible department chair, unit head, principal investigator, or project director must endorse a statement on a Travel Authority describing the extenuating circumstances that justify the exception. If the traveler is an administrator, his or her supervisor must endorse the statement. In the absence of a specific statement, travel by air coach or tourist class is presumed and authorized.

Route the exception Travel Authority to the Executive Director for Business Services/Controller prior to the trip.

COMMON CARRIERS

Common carriers should be used in preference to other means of transportation. Scheduled airlines usually offer the greatest convenience at the least cost in terms of dollars and time. Bus transportation is recommended for short distances.

The University pays the lesser of tourist class fare or state contract air fare for common carrier travel.

Travelers are encouraged to utilize reduced-fare schedules or excursion rates whenever possible. Travelers should be aware that many carriers assess substantial penalty charges for cancellation of reduced-fare packages.

Authorization

Common carrier travel must be approved in advance on a Travel Authority. See 95.05.

Paying Common Carrier Fares

The following procurement methods are considered acceptable for obtaining common carrier tickets.

Reimbursement Procedure

The traveler claims transportation expenses on a Travel Expense Voucher when the state travel charge card or personal resources are used. See 95.20 for Travel Expense Voucher instructions.

Regardless of the method used to pay for the common carrier expenses, the traveler must submit proof of payment of a common carrier ticket with the completed and approved Travel Expense Voucher in order to claim reimbursement for the expenses. Receipts are required and must be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher for most allowable transportation expenses.

Unofficial Travel

Expenditures for unofficial travel that constitutes an incidental portion of an official trip may be included in the total travel package purchased with a CTA. The traveler is responsible for reimbursing the University for unofficial travel.

Authorized Changes

If there is an authorized change in itinerary, the employee may pay the added cost and claim reimbursement on a Travel Expense Voucher.

Refunds

If the traveler does not use all or part of a ticket purchased with a CTA the traveler reports the fact to his or her department and provides documentation (e.g., tickets). The department works directly with American Express or a DES-approved travel agency to obtain refunds for CTA ticket purchases.

If the carrier makes a refund directly to the traveler, the refund must be taken to the Cashier's Window in the Controller's Office immediately after the traveler returns.

OTHER TRANSPORTATION

Motor Pool Vehicles

The WSU Motor Pool provides motor pool vehicles for official University business. Details are available in 95.35. The rate schedule is available from the Motor Pool Rates website at:

http://facops.wsu.edu/motorpoolrates.htm

Privately-Owned Vehicles

See 95.11.

Rental Cars

See 95.12.

Nonscheduled Aircraft

See 95.30.

Local Transportation

See 95.08 for details regarding taxi, city bus, streetcar, monorail, subway, airport limousine, etc.