San Francisco Department of the Environment

Emergency Ride Home

Do you walk, bike, take transit, or carpool to work? Ever gotten a flat tire or had to go home early because you were sick?

You can now ride to work worry-free! When San Francisco commuters use a sustainable mode to travel to work and experience a personal or family emergency while at work, CommuteSmart will reimburse the cost of the taxi or public transit ride (up to $150 per ride).

Get reimbursed for your emergency ride home >

  • Emergency Ride Home is free to employees, just save your receipt and fill out the reimbursement request.
  • The taxi ride must be in an official taxi, rides with Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft are not reimbursable.


The Emergency Ride Program supports everybody who walks, bikes, takes transit, or carpools to work. 

What qualifies as an emergency?

Individuals who work in San Francisco may request reimbursement for the following qualified events:

  • Illness or crisis of employee or immediate family member
  • Carpool or vanpool ride is unavailable due to unexpected changes in the driver’s schedule or vehicle breakdown
  • Bicycle problem, including flat tire, mechanical failure, vandalism or theft
  • Required unexpected overtime (i.e. employee was not aware of the situation before the start of the workday). Supervisor authorization is required, and the trip must take place from 10pm - 6am.

Who is eligible to participate?

All permanent 18 & over part-time or full-time employees of a San Francisco employer are eligible to participate.

Trip Restrictions

All Emergency Ride Home trips must originate at the employee’s work location in San Francisco. The employee can be dropped off at home, a transit stop or the location of their parked car (e.g. park-and-ride lot, carpool partner’s home, etc.).

Emergency-related side trips on the way home are permitted, including picking up a sick child at school or daycare, filling a prescription at a pharmacy, or stopping at an ATM for cash to pay the taxi driver.

Non-Reimbursable Trips

  • Personal errands or pre-planned medical appointments
  • Medical emergencies (i.e. when an ambulance is needed)
  • Business-related travel
  • Overtime that was planned or known prior to the start of a workday, or that was not authorized by a supervisor
  • Natural disasters or civic emergencies (e.g. earthquake, demonstration, etc.)
  • Transit service breakdown or interruption in service
  • Transportation to a doctor or hospital resulting from an on-the-job injury (Emergency Ride Home cannot be used to replace an employer’s legal responsibility under workers’ compensation regulations)
  • Non-emergency related side-trips on the way home
  • Trips before 10pm or after 6am by regular transit riders who have unscheduled overtime

Additional Resources

FAQs & Additional Program Rules

Contact Information

San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment)
City & County of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 355-3700
Email: [email protected]

Funded By:


This is an illustration for the ERH program