Emergency Ride Home Program
If you are considering using alternative transportation, but are concerned there may be times when you need to use a car to get somewhere quickly for a personal emergency, the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program has you covered. Register with the ERH program, and, if you have an eligible emergency on a day you commuted to Stanford by alternative transportation, we will help you get home.
To be eligible for the ERH program, you must meet these eligibility requirements, including commuting primarily to Stanford's main campus or Stanford Redwood City.
How to use the ERH program
When an unforeseen emergency arises, call us at 650.723.9362. If your destination is within 20 miles of campus, we will send a cab. If you need to go farther away, we will help procure a rental car. You're allowed four free rides per academic year.
You may also request to arrange your own ride from ride hailing companies, then submit your receipt to email@example.com for reimbursement. However, please call our office first to inform us of your emergency and confirm you are eligible for the program.
Please note: We don't cover or reimburse for tips.
If you are using a taxi
Waiting times for taxis may vary from 15 to 30 minutes. When meeting your taxi, ask the driver to confirm your name and destination to ensure your fare will be covered. The taxi should have been dispatched by Yellow Checker Rainbow Cab.
If our office is closed
The Stanford Transportation office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 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 4 p.m., or on a university holiday, you'll need to make arrangements and pay for your ride yourself. If you meet all of the ERH eligibility requirements, follow the steps below to ensure reimbursement:
- Check to see if your situation is eligible for an Emergency Ride Home (see “Rules and Restrictions” below)
- Arrange your ride:
- Call Yellow Checker Rainbow Cab at 650.999.9999. Tell them where you need to be picked up at Stanford, and where you need to go.
- Alternatively, use another taxi or ride hailing service to get a ride.
- The cab company takes cash or credit cards. Ride hailing companies accept credit card payment via their app. 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. Please note: We don't cover or reimburse for tips.
- Be sure to retain your receipts and collect any supporting materials to help us verify your request and maintain the integrity of the program. Doctor's receipts and notes from daycare covered centers or the fire department will do.
- Upon your return to Stanford, email Stanford Transportation at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your situation. Include the reason for the ride and any supporting materials (such as receipt).
If your cab does not arrive
- During Stanford Transportation office hours, please call us at 650.723.9362. The Stanford Transportation office is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- You can also call Yellow Checker Rainbow Cab at 650.999.9999.
- As an alternative, use another taxi or ride hailing service to arrange for a ride home. Please retain your receipts and submit them to email@example.com for reimbursement.
Rules and restrictions
The ERH program is open to non-resident students and university and hospital employees who are eligible. The intent of the program is to ensure commuters who travel using alternative transportation can depart work in an expeditious manner in the event of a personal emergency. You are allowed four free rides per academic year (September through August). Rules and policies of the ERH program may change without notification to eligible participants.
In order to qualify for a free ride, you must:
- Be using an alternative to driving alone to Stanford on the day you need a ride.
- Have a covered, verifiable need. Note: We can only cover matters of personal necessity, not personal choice.
- Not be a Stanford resident.
What is a "covered need"?
- Minor accident or injury (you or your immediate family)
- Sudden and unexpected illness (you or your immediate family), except if you have tested positive for COVID
- Major accident or injury to a family member
- Major individual catastrophe such as a house fire, gas leak, or flood
- Your carpool or vanpool driver needs to leave campus unexpectedly
- Bicycle flat tire
What is NOT a "covered need"?
- You have tested positive for COVID. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID should arrange for their own transportation home. Review the CDC’s guidance on infection prevention and control measures during ground transport.
- Injury requiring immediate medical attention. In these cases, please call 911 or ask a coworker/friend to drive you; contact Workers' 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
- Breakdown of public transit (e.g. Line U, bus, or Caltrain delays and cancellations)
- You need to stay late unexpectedly and you miss your bus, train, or carpool. Employee commuters might be able to ask their department 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 emergency site, and then continue home, but you may not make unnecessary stops (e.g. no stopping to purchase something or talk to a friend or relative on the way).
Twenty-four hour limit on Enterprise rentals:
- If you are using an Enterprise rental for your emergency ride home, please note that Stanford Transportation only covers the first 24 hours of the rental. After 24 hours, you will be responsible for covering the cost of the rental. Furthermore, Enterprise's policy is to report the vehicle as stolen if not returned the next day as scheduled. Please contact Enterprise at 650.833.8060 if you plan to rent the vehicle past the 24-hour window.
What to do if your need is not “covered”
If your situation does not qualify for the ERH program, but you are still in need of quick transportation, one option is to use Zipcar, which has over 35 vehicles at Stanford located on campus and at SRWC.
At other times, Zipcars are rented hourly at varying prices. Stanford affiliates can join Zipcar for only $15 (saving $10 off the annual fee).
Another option is Enterprise. Rentals will be handled by Enterprise's Palo Alto location at 814 San Antonio Road. Customers can call them directly at 650.366.9200 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on making a reservation.