Emergency Ride Home Program
If you are considering using alternative transportation, but are concerned that there may be times in which 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 Emergency Ride Home (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 Emergency Ride Home program, you must meet all eligibility requirements for the Stanford Commute Club, including that your primary commute is to Stanford's main campus or to Stanford Redwood City.
How to enroll
If you are a Commute Club member, you are automatically enrolled in the program and do not need to fill out a formal application.
If you are not a Commute Club member, you will need to sign up online.
Once you enroll, your registration will remain effective for the duration of your employment or enrollment at Stanford.
How to use the ERH program
When that unforeseen emergency arises, call us at 650.723.9362. We'll arrange a taxi or rental car for you. If your destination is within 20 miles of campus, we will send a cab. If you need to go farther away, we will help you get 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, such as Lyft or Uber, 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 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 university holiday, you'll need to make arrangements and pay for your ride yourself. If you meet all of the Emergency Ride Home eligibility requirements, follow the steps below to ensure that you will be reimbursed:
- 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, such as Lyft or Uber, to get a ride.
- The cab company takes cash or credit card. Lyft and Uber 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.
- 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, email Stanford Transportation at firstname.lastname@example.org and explain what happened. 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 5 p.m.
- You can also call Yellow Checker Rainbow Cab at 650.999.9999.
- As an alternative, use another taxi or ride hailing service, such as Lyft or Uber, to arrange for a ride home. Please retain your receipts and submit them to email@example.com for reimbursement.
Rules and restrictions
The Emergency Ride Home program is open to non-resident students and university and hospital employees who are Commute-Club eligible. The intent of the Emergency Ride Home 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).
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.
- 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)
- 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
What is NOT a "covered need"?
- Injury requiring immediate medical attention. In these cases, please 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
- 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 site of emergency, 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 Emergency Ride Home program, but you are still in need of quick transportation, one option is to use Zipcar, which has over 60 vehicles at Stanford located on campus and at SRWC.
For those who need to stay late, Zipcar offers $29 overnight weekday rentals starting at 6 p.m.
At other times, Zipcars are rented hourly at varying prices, generally around $8.50 per hour. Stanford affiliates can join Zipcar for only $15 the first year (saving $10 off the annual fee). In addition, Commute Club members can receive one free hour of driving credit each month.
Another option for main campus commuters is Enterprise. The campus branch is open until 5 p.m., and offers special rates to Stanford affiliations, including $10 weeknight rentals after 4 p.m. for Commute Club members (subject to vehicle availability).