Emergency Ride Home (ERH) programs provide a ride home for green commuters who need to get home in a hurry. If a transit user needs to stay late and buses are no longer running, or if a carpool partner needs to leave for a family emergency, an ERH program ensures employees get home safely. This addresses a common objection to the use of alternative modes. ERH programs often use taxi vouchers/ reimbursements or company vehicles.

ERH trips may be covered in full by the employer or the employee may need to pay a portion of the cost of the trip. The cost of offering this service tends to be low because it is seldom actually used. ERH programs are a common component of Workplace Commuter Options programs. Use this sample ERH policy and modify it to suit your needs.

How an ERH program is implemented

(Excerpt from Victoria Transport Policy Institute)

An Emergency Ride Home policy should cover:

  • Who is eligible. The program could cover all employees, or only those who take transit, carpool, etc.
  • What trips are eligible. The program could cover any trip, or it could be limited to unexpected business appointments, employee or family member sickness.
  • Maximum number of uses allowed during a certain period, maximum miles within a period, or maximum cost per trip.
  • Which staff or department is responsible for implementation.
  • Procedures for using the ERH service.
  • Appropriate forms (e.g. registration and reimbursement vouchers).

Best Practices

  • A written policy should identify ERH eligibility and procedures.
  • Maximum number of trips, mileage and costs should be specified.
  • Requirements should not be overly restrictive (non-emergency trips should qualify).
  • Users should be involved in planning the program.

Find more information on ERH’s at Victoria Transport Policy Institute.