Emergency Ride Home
Leave your car at home!
Thinking of using alternative transportation on an occasional, part-time, or full-time basis, but are afraid of being stranded on campus without your car in the event of a personal emergency?
Don't worry. Register with the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program, and, if you have an emergency on a day you commuted to Stanford by alternative transportation, we'll ensure that you get home.
On this page:
How to enroll
If you are a Commute Club member, you are already enrolled in the program and don't need to apply.
If you are not a Commute Club member, sign up online or return the completed registration form (PDF, 80 KB) to Parking & Transportation Services (P&TS).
Once you enroll, your registration will remain effective for the duration of your employment or enrollment at Stanford.
How to use it
When that unforeseen emergency arises, call us at 723-9362. We'll arrange a taxi or rental car for you (waiting times for taxis may vary from 15 to 30 minutes). If your emergency arises when our office is closed, you'll need to make your own arrangements, and we'll reimburse you later if the situation meets the program requirements: read the rules and restrictions section for more information and be sure to keep your receipt(s).
If your destination is within 20 miles of campus, we'll send a cab. If you need to get farther away, we'll line you up with a rental car. You're allowed four free rides per academic year.
If our office is closed
The P&TS office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. During these hours you must call our office at 650.723.9362 to arrange an Emergency Ride Home.
If an emergency arises while you're on campus after 5 p.m., or on a weekend or university holiday, you'll need to make arrangements and pay for your ride yourself, but bring us your receipt, and we will process your reimbursement. If you meet all of the qualifications for a free ride just follow these simple steps:
- If your destination is within 20 miles of campus, call Palo Alto Yellow Cab at 650.321.1234. Tell them where you need to be picked up at Stanford, and where you need to go. The cab company takes cash or credit card. If you have neither, try to make arrangements with a co-worker, or have the cab take you to an ATM on the way home. We don't reimburse for tips.
- If you live more than 20 miles away, call Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 650.833.8060. Mention that you are using Stanford's Emergency Ride Home program and ask for an economy-sized car. The Enterprise agent will arrange for your vehicle. Depending on timing and staff availability, an Enterprise employee may be able to deliver your rental car to your campus location and pick it up when you return. If Enterprise is closed (they're open until 5 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturdays and Sundays), make arrangements with another rental car agency of your choice and we will reimburse you at the Enterprise economy-sized car rate.
Please be advised that:
- You must have your driver's license with you
- We will not pay for optional insurance protection
- We will only pay for the economy-sized car
- You must return the car within 24 hours (or YOU'LL need to pay for the extra rental day(s)).
- Make sure you retain your receipts and collect any supporting materials you can to help us verify your request and maintain the integrity of the program. Doctor's receipts and notes from daycare centers or the fire department will do.
- As soon as you get back to Stanford, call P&TS and explain what has happened. Then mail or drop off the supporting materials to our office at: Parking & Transportation Services, 340 Bonair Siding, MC: 7255.
Rules and restrictions
The Emergency Ride Home program is open to non-resident students and all university and hospital employees. The intent of the Emergency Ride Home program is to assure commuters who travel using alternative transportation that they won't be stranded on campus in the event of a personal emergency. You are allowed four free rides per academic year (September through August).
In order to qualify for a free ride, you must:
- be registered with our program
- be using an alternative to driving alone to Stanford on the day you need a ride, and
- have a covered, verifiable need (we can only cover matters of personal necessity, not personal choice)
What is a "covered need"?
- minor accident or injury to you or your immediate family (child, spouse/partner, dependant)
- sudden and unexpected illness (you or your immediate family)
- major individual catastrophe such as a house fire, gas leak, or flood
- your carpool or vanpool driver needs to leave campus unexpectedly
What is NOT a "covered need"?
- injury requiring immediate medical attention (call 911 or ask a coworker/friend to drive you; contact Worker's Comp if job-related)
- soiled or damaged clothing
- region-wide natural disasters such as an earthquake
- situations in which your immediate presence is not required (for example, your teenager overslept, missed the bus to school, and wants a ride)
- breakdown of public transit (e.g., Line U, bus, or Caltrain delays and cancellations)
- you need to work overtime and you miss your train or carpool. In this situation, please contact our office before 5 p.m., as you may qualify for an emergency ride home through a different program. If you don't qualify, you're still welcome to use our vendors and Stanford's rates, but you or your department will have to pick up the bill.
- We can only send you home or to a place where you have to deal with some emergency, such as a hospital or daycare center. You may also stop at the site of emergency, and then continue home, but you may not make unnecessary stops (i.e. no shopping or drive-thru espresso).