Emergency Ride Home

Will you be able to get home in case of an emergency?

Leaving your car behind for a sustainable commute doesn’t mean you can’t get home quickly in the event of an emergency. With the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program, you are eligible for a taxi, Uber or Lyft ride home any day you use a sustainable commute option to get to work. You must have a valid emergency approved by your Employee Transportation Coordinator prior to taking the trip. Best of all, it's free – we will reimburse you for the cost, so be sure to save the receipt. This program is available to employers partnering with Pierce Trips.

When can you use ERH?

If you use a sustainable commute option to get to work and have an emergency situation you qualify for Emergency Ride Home.

Sustainable commute options include ridesharing (carpooling, vanpooling, taking transit, including the bus, train, light rail), and active transportation (walking, biking, riding a scooter, etc.). Teleworking and compressed work weeks do not count as an eligible commute, since the trip to work is eliminated.

ERH can be used, with employer approval, for:
  • Unexpected personal or family illness
  • Unexpected request by supervisor to work late (that is, the request comes on that same day, without prior notice or knowledge)
  • Unexpected change in planned ride home (e.g., carpool driver had to leave early due to an emergency).
  • Other approved emergency situations which occur during the workday.

Where can you go?

 You may use ERH to travel from your worksite (must be located within Pierce County) to:
  • Home
  • The location of your personal vehicle (e.g., park and ride lot, daycare center, carpool partner's home)
  • The ferry terminal (reimbursement ends at the ferry terminal)
  • Your medical provider
An intermediate stop is permitted if it is related to the nature of the emergency, such as picking up a sick child from school before going home or to the location of the car.

When ERH cannot be used

  • Personal errands
  • Business-related travel
  • Pre-scheduled appointments or overtime
  • Working late with prior notice
  • Hospital trips in place of ambulance service
  • Trips to doctor's office or hospital due to a work-related injury
  • Transportation beyond the ferry terminal
  • Non-emergency side trips
  • Employment layoff or termination
  • You have met your trips limits for the year
  • Inclement weather

General Guidelines

  • Each employee is allowed up to 6 trips per calendar year/ORCA contract period.
  • There is unlimited mileage per trip, up to $100.
  • Reimbursement will cover taxi/TNC fare. It does not include gratuity.
  • Inappropriate use of the program may result in loss of ERH privileges.

How do I get reimbursed?

  1. First, the employee must gain approval from their Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) that they are requesting an Emergency Ride Home for a valid reason.
  2. Once the employee is approved and has taken the Emergency Ride Home, they should save a copy of the paper or email receipt.
  3. The employee will need to send the receipt to their ETC, who will submit a reimbursement request on their behalf. The reimbursement is processed by Pierce Transit, who will mail a check directly to the employee within 10 business days. 

How can I get ERH at my workplace?

Employees, to find out if your employer has an ERH program contact your work site Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC). Don't have an ETC? Learn more about partnering with Pierce Trips -- it's free!

Employers who would like an ERH program should contact us.

For State Agencies the State Agency Free Emergency SAFE-Ride program is available to employees who use a commute option to get to work. To learn more contact your Employee Transportation Coordinator.