San Francisco Department of the Environment

Essential Worker Ride Home

The Essential Worker Ride Home program provides a reliable and safe taxi ride home from work for essential employees commuting to and within San Francisco, helping to fill the gap left by reductions in public transportation services during the order to shelter-in-place.

Program overview
The program will cover the cost of taxi rides home for essential employees in San Francisco, up to ten (10) rides per month, per person, and up to $70 per ride. Participants must first submit an application to verify essential employment status, need, and intended use. Once approved, participants can take an official taxi for eligible trips and request a reimbursement, which must include taxi receipt(s) and must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the trip.
 
Please carefully review the eligibility requirements below. You must meet both the eligible participant and eligible trip requirements to qualify. 
 
Who is eligible to participate? 
To be eligible, you must:
  • Commute to work via a sustainable mode of transportation, such as taking public transit, walking, biking, or carpooling.
  • Work for an essential business in San Francisco, performing an essential job function, as classified by the City and County of San Francisco. This includes City and County of San Francisco employees performing essential job functions and/or serving as a Disaster Service Worker.
    Review the list of essential businesses. (SFGov)
  • Certify that your employer or another entity does not already provide transportation benefits that include travel home from work.
 
What is an eligible trip?
To be eligible, trips must:
  • Originate at the employee’s work location in San Francisco and end at their home, a transit stop that will take them home, or the location of their parked car (e.g. park-and-ride lot, transit parking lot, etc.).
  • Be taken while transit options are limited or unavailable due to emergency-related transit service reductions. Review the Coronavirus Transportation Impacts (511) for the latest information.
  • Be made via taxi (SFMTA) and a receipt must be submitted with a reimbursement request. Meter fare, service fees, and toll fees are all eligible for reimbursement. Tips will not be reimbursed.
  • Rides with Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are not eligible for reimbursement.
 
Trips to work will not be covered by the program.
 
How long does the program last?
The program will be available to essential workers until further notice and is subject to evaluation and modification based on updates to public transportation schedules and operations, program funding, and/or status of the shelter-in-place order. 
 
How many people will this program serve?
Applications will be evaluated and accepted on a rolling basis. San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) staff will monitor demand and work with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority to evaluate utilization trends and introduce program modifications, should the need arise.
 
How can I apply for the program?
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply for the Essential Worker Ride Home program by following the instructions below:
  • Fill out the application form in its entirety. If you fail to provide information and/or if you do not meet all of the eligibility requirements of the program, your application will be denied.
  • Your application will be processed in a timely manner. Important: you will not be able to submit a reimbursement request until your application is approved.
  • If approved, you will be notified via email by the Department of the Environment ([email protected]).
  • Upon acceptance, you may submit weekly reimbursement requests for your taxi rides home.
 
How do I submit a reimbursement?
Trips should be bundled and submitted on a weekly basis, limit 10 trips per month, per person.
  • You must first be registered for the program. Please apply here.
  • Open the reimbursement request form to get started.
  • Take a picture of or scan your taxi receipt(s), which you will need to upload to the form.
  • Requests and receipts must be received within 14 calendar days of the trip date.
  • Once submitted, you will be mailed a check for all reimbursable trip expenditures within 3-4 weeks.
 
Are applications available in languages other than English? 
Yes, program materials including applications are available in Chinese and Spanish. For further language assistance, please contact 311. To do so, dial 3-1-1 (within SF) or 415-701-2311 (TTY 415-701-2323).
 
How much can I be reimbursed?
To maximize the number of people who can be served, there is a cap of 10 trips per person, per month and up to $70 per trip. If reimbursement requests exceed the $70 per trip limit, the participant will receive up to $70 in reimbursement for qualifying expenses and will be responsible for the remainder of the ride cost. 
 
How do I get a taxi? 
You can hail taxis, including ramp taxis, on the street, by telephone, or by the Flywheel app. Details on all San Francisco taxi companies are available on the SFMTA website.
 
What if I experience an emergency while at work?
The City of San Francisco’s Emergency Ride Home program will continue to be available to individuals who work in San Francisco who are fulfilling essential job functions, and all requests will continue to be evaluated based on the program's eligibility criteria.
 

Program Resources

 

 

Contact Information

你需要中文幫助嗎? 撥打3-1-1
¿Necesitas ayuda en español? Telefonear 3-1-1
Need help or language assistance?
Dial 3-1-1 (within SF) or 415-701-2311 (TTY 415-701-2323)
24 hours a day, 365 days a year


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