Considerations for Developing a Guaranteed Ride
The following outlines some of the many
issues that need to be considered when designing a guaranteed ride home or
emergency ride program. This information was adapted from information from the
Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation with additions suggested
by visitors to this page.
Service Area: Some programs
limit the program's coverage to a particular geographical area such as a County
or major activity center.
Eligibility by Employment Status:
Programs may be restricted to particular employment status such as:
- Full Time employees
- Part Time employees
- Full Time Students
- Part Time Students
Eligibility by Mode: Programs may
be restricted to one or more modes:
- Bus Riders
- Train Riders
Eligibility by Usage of Non-Single
Occupant Vehicle Mode: Programs also may be restricted to the frequency of
use (e.g., must carpool at least three times per week)
by Trip Purposes Some GRH programs may limit the destinations covered and
the number of intermediate stops allowed.
- From work to home (basic coverage in
- From home to work (e.g., carpool
driver is sick and carpool rider needs a ride)
- From work to hospital/doctor's office
- From work to school or daycare (e.g.,
pick-up sick child)
- No stops (i.e., if work to school is
permitted then the cost from school to home would the rider's
- 1 stop (e.g., from work to doctor's
office to home)
- 2+ stops
Reasons for Use: There are a wide
range of possible reasons that someone would require a ride home. The GRH
program should consider all the possibilities and make clear as to what is
covered or not covered.
- Sickness of carpool/vanpool partner
- Unscheduled overtime or late meeting
(i.e., no advance warning that they would have to work late)
- Sickness or accident of immediate
family member (child, spouse, parent)
- Breakdown or accident of carpool or
vanpool vehicle on way to or from work (i.e., not a vehicle that was planned
to be in the shop for several days)
- Carpool or vanpool driver had to
leave work early (e.g., early dismissal due to inclement weather such as
snow for one of the pool riders or driver)
- Carpool or vanpool driver does not
work on a particular holiday but the rider does
Modes Used to Provide Service: A
variety of modes may be offered depending on the location and circumstances.
- Taxi (any available cab)
- Taxi (pre-approved cab companies
- Taxi (dispatched cabs)
- Rental car (will create additional
concerns over liability and age/credit restrictions imposed by the rental companies
but may be the most cost-effective option for long distance commuters).
- Airport Limos
Service Hours: This may apply if
the GRH user requires prior approval to use the service and/or obtain a voucher.
- Normal working hours (9 to 5, Monday
- 24 hours/7 days per week
Arranging the Ride: As with
service hours above, consideration must be given as to who arranges the ride or
orders the appropriate mode (e.g., agency may not want violently ill or
distraught parent using a rental car even if it is the most cost-effective):
- Employee Transportation Coordinator
- Human Resources Department at the
- TDM program/rideshare agency
- Contractor to the agency
Controlling Abuse of the Program: Budget
and fairness issues are common concerns of agencies starting new GRH
programs. There are several common ways used to manage the risk and
- Establish the program on a
reimbursement basis (i.e., commuter takes the cab home, obtains a receipt,
mails receipt to the agency for approval and reimbursement).
- Require pre-registration including
signed statement agreeing to abide by the rules, etc.
- Limit frequency of use by
establishing a maximum dollar value (e.g., you can use up to $100 per year)
- Limit frequency of use by
establishing a maximum number of trips for a particular time period that
would be provided (e.g., you can use the program up to 12 times per year).
- Require a co-payment (i.e.,
deductible) such as the rider pays the first mile of the cab ride (often the
most expensive mile) or a percent of the total bill.
- Require pre-authorization to use the
service (e.g., supervisor sign-off on voucher, dispatcher,
- Establish a penalty for no shows
- Limit the number of miles per trip
that are covered (e.g., up to the first 25 miles)
Payment Methods: A variety of
payment methods may be used or accepted.
- User is reimbursed
- Service provider bills the agency
providing the GRH service
- Pre-paid vouchers or smart cards
- Consider the what the program will be called. "Emergency Ride Home" vs.
"Guaranteed Ride Home" are typically used. Which one is selected could
have effect on marketability of program (customer expectations and eligible