San Francisco Department of the Environment

Emergency Ride Home - Additional Information

San Francisco’s Emergency Ride Home program supports and encourages walking, biking, taking transit, carpooling or vanpooling for commuting purposes.  Employees pay out of pocket for the emergency ride and submit a request for reimbursement.

Employees can be reimbursed for up to four trips per fiscal year (July 1st-June 30th) and up to $150 per trip. All trips must be made via taxi and/or public transit.

Please note that a taxi ride must be in an official taxi. Rides with Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft are not reimbursable.

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 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.

Who is eligible to participate?

All permanent employees of a San Francisco employer who are 18 years or older are eligible to submit a reimbursement request for a qualified emergency, including travel to locations outside San Francisco.

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.

If reimbursement requests exceed the $150 per trip limit, the participant will receive up to $150 in reimbursement for qualifying expenses and will be responsible for the remainder of the ride cost.

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

Contact Information

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

Funded By:


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