San Francisco Department of the Environment

Essential Worker Ride Home - Additional Information

The Essential Worker Ride Home program, which expands upon San Francisco’s Emergency Ride Home program, provides a reliable and safe taxi ride home from work, helping to fill the gap left by reductions in public transportation services.

Why is this program being offered?

In keeping with San Francisco's Transit First policy and the mission of our funding partners, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the goals of this program are to help essential workers get home from their San Francisco-based jobs and to discourage drive-alone car commuting.

Are face masks or face coverings required when riding in a taxi?

Yes, riders should do their part by wearing a face covering as required by the Health Order issued on April 17. When traveling in public, follow CDC Guidelines such as frequently washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after your trip.

Can I ride with another passenger?

Essential workers may ride with passengers going to the same destination. Side trips are not covered by the program and the final destination must follow the trip eligibility guidelines. For safety, we recommend a maximum of one driver and two passengers, who should ride in the back seat, to prevent close contact between non-family members.

What precautions should I take when traveling in a taxi to keep myself healthy?

We ask that riders wear a face covering as required by the Health Order issued April 17, 2020. When traveling in public, follow CDC Guidelines such as practicing good hygiene and frequently washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after your trip.

What health precautions are taxi drivers taking?

Taxi drivers have been trained on proper cleaning techniques following CDC guidelines and have been provided PPE including masks, cleaning supplies, and CDC-approved sanitizer. Taxi drivers are required to clean frequently touched surfaces in their vehicles between trips to limit risk to both riders and drivers. SFMTA’s Taxi Division is monitoring compliance to minimize potential exposure. 

If I don’t feel well, can I take a taxi  to a hospital, medical provider, or  COVID-19 testing site?

Yes, you may take a taxi if you are sick. If you are leaving work due to illness, please submit your reimbursement using the Emergency Ride Home program. To prevent potential infection of others, wear a face covering or mask and minimize touching surfaces in the taxi. Alert the driver so that surfaces can be cleaned on your exit.

Can a taxi driver refuse to drive me based on perceived infection risk?

No, a taxi driver cannot refuse to transport passengers, provided customers presents themselves for transportation in a clean, coherent, safe, orderly, and lawful manner.

How do I maintain the distance required under the social distancing guidelines in a taxi?

Sedan and SUV taxis do not allow a passenger to sit six feet away from the driver. However, you can take preventative measures by washing your hands before and after your trip, wearing a face covering, not touching your face, and minimizing the surfaces you touch while in the taxi.


Contact Information

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

 


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