Learn About Transportation Options

Travelers shall use the most direct, practical, and economical route of travel; which can include mileage for a personally owned vehicle, cost to rent a vehicle, travel by air, rail, taxis, shuttles and buses.


Air & Rail

VCU faculty and staff are required to book air and rail tickets for official business using University funds through Collegiate Travel Planners. Prior to booking travel with Collegiate Travel Planners, every traveler must update their online traveler profile. Step-by-step instructions: http://procurement.vcu.edu/i-want-to/travel/book-travel/

Fly America Act

Travelers using Federal grant funds are required to use US air carrier services for all travel funded by the US government. For International travel, the US government has entered into air transport agreements to allow use of foreign air carriers under certain circumstances. Visit GSA website for further guidelines and FAQ: https://www.gsa.gov/policy-regulations/policy/travel-management-policy/fly-america-act

Class of Fare

Generally, air and rail ticket costs cannot exceed the rate charged for an economy coach or equivalent class accommodation. The Authorized Approver may grant permission to upgrade accommodations above the economy class when either:

  • Trips include an international destination. The international air/rail segment may be upgraded to business class while the domestic segment air/rail must be economy coach.
  • Business class does not cost more than the lowest available coach fare

First Class seating is not allowed.

Baggage fees

Charges for checking bags are reimbursable. Excessive weight and/or unusual charges must be fully explained.

Change Fees

Charges for changes to tickets/reservations to accommodate personal comfort, convenience and taste are not reimbursable. Change fees must be fully explained.

Combining Personal & Business Travel

Travelers who include personal travel when traveling for authorized VCU business must obtain and provide for reimbursement the cost for the business travel portion only. This cost must be based on the lowest comparable economy class fare(s) obtained through Collegiate Travel Planners, our contracted Travel Management Company (either online or agent), and must be at the time of booking. The air and rail tickets must be purchased through our travel management company regardless. The university will not pay more than the travel cost for the business portion. The business portion documentation must be submitted with the Chrome River reimbursement.

Low Cost Carriers

While VCU encourages the use of Low Cost Carriers (JetBlue and Southwest) to maintain competitive airfare prices in Richmond, the use of several other carriers (Frontier, Spirit, Allegiant and Breeze) are not recommended because they are unable to support VCU’s duty of care and offer limited options.

Air Travel Options: Chartered, Personally-Owned, or State-Owned

Please contact travel@vcu.edu for information about Chartered, personally-owned, or State owned aircraft.

Personally-Owned Vehicles

Employees are permitted to use their personally owned automobile when an Enterprise/National contract vehicle is not available, or when the use of a personally owned vehicle is cost-beneficial to the University.  Mileage and other commuting cost incurred during commuting status are considered a personal expense and are not reimbursable.

VCU reimburses at the current Standard Mileage Rate established by the IRS. https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/standard-mileage-rates

Travelers are encouraged to use the Chrome River mileage widget powered by Google Maps. This will ensure the origination and destination addresses are documented as required.

Rental Vehicles

Reimbursement of vehicle rental expenses is limited to official business use only. The traveler must select the most economical type of vehicle available, and acquire the appropriate commercial rate or government discount available when the vehicle is rented. VCU encourages travelers to use contracted vendors.

Itemized Documentation

Itemized rental and gas receipts must be submitted with the reimbursement request. Proper business justification is required for optional add-ons (GPS, toll passes, etc.).

Vehicle Refueling

Travelers must ensure that the rental vehicle is refueled before returning the vehicle to the rental contractor. Reimbursement will be based on the fuel used and receipts provided. Travelers must never authorize prepayment for fuel.

Collision and Liability Insurance
If Then Notes
State Employee Decline

The Department of Treasury, Division of Risk Management, provides a Statewide Self-Insured Automobile plan for State employees.

Non-State Employee Accept

Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) are reimbursable expenses

International Rentals Accept

Individuals traveling outside of the contiguous 48 States are required to purchase and will be reimbursed for LDWand CDW insurance.

Other types of insurance offered such as trip cancellation, personal, health or life insurance are not reimbursable.

Rental Car Contract

Reimbursement of vehicle rental expenses is limited to official business use only. The traveler must select the most economical type of vehicle available, and acquire the appropriate commercial rate or government discount available when the vehicle is rented. Travelers are encouraged to use Enterprise/National Car rental, VCU’s contracted vendor for local, domestic and even global rentals.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car (local)/National Rental Car (out-of-state rentals)

VCU utilizes a VASCUPP contract with Enterprise Leasing Co. to provide nationwide vehicle rentals through Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands. The contract is a mandatory source and is required to be used when obtaining a rental vehicle. Enterprise is recommended for local rentals and National is recommended for rentals originating outside the state of Virginia. VASCUPP contract pricing for Enterprise Rent-A-Car damage waiver fee is included in the local and national daily rental rates. If the operator of the rental vehicle is between 18 and 20 years old, the damage waiver is only included within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Vehicle Accident Prevention and Safety policy applies for all university or business related rentals

Rentals can be booked with either Enterprise or National Car Rental using the contract number XZ21184, and will include all contractual benefits. However, Enterprise may charge a variable “drop fee” calculated by class of car and distance.

Make a Reservation with Enterprise/National

Reserve the rental through Collegiate Travel Planners online booking tool or contact Enterprise or National directly. You must provide the contract number XZ21184. You will need your VCU ID to pick up the rental.

Enterprise account manager: Kyle A Meeks -- Kyle.A.Meeks@ehi.com

Free Emerald Club Enrollment

The Emerald Club is designed to make your rental experience faster and more convenient.

  • Faster Reservations - online, on the phone, with your travel agent, at a participating locations
  • Faster Rentals - Special Members' Line or Counter Bypass and Choose any vehicle from the Emerald Aisle for airport pickups
  • Drop and Go for express vehicle returns at airport locations and E-Receipts
  • Member Discounts
  • Business Rental Program rates and benefits applied to every rental

To activate your membership, go to: https://www.nationalcar.com/offer/XZ21184

ALREADY A MEMBER? – Email your Emerald Club member number, along with VCU's account number (XZ21184) to accountsupport@ehi.com so you can link the accounts.

Ground Transportation

Public transportation such as city metro services, taxis and shuttle services such as Lyft and Uber, and similar services are allowable for VCU official business travel, except as noted below. Receipts are required for reimbursements requests in excess of $75.00.

Any transportation costs for travel between and within the MPC and MCV campuses, and parking fees at VCU owned or occupied spaces are not reimbursable. For details, please see the Travel Guidelines and Policies.

For More Information

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For help, please submit a Cherwell service ticket
Look Under School/Unit IT Support
Under Procurement Services, select Travel and Reimbursement

Edit | Last updated: 09/19/2023