“Emergency Ride Home” – Will San Francisco Pay For Your Taxi Ride Home If You Bike to Work and Get a Flat Tire? Yes

Here it is, from the San Francisco Department of the Environment:

Emergency Ride Home

This program is similar to those offered by Stanford U, UCMarin County and your major corporations.*

So, if you power your Nissan Leaf all-electric car or ZERO all-electric motorcycle with clean Hetch Hetchy hydroelectricity, SFGov is saying that your commute to work isn’t “sustainable.” OTOH, if you ride in a diesel MUNI bus, your commute is “sustainable? OK, maybe.

Hey, what about the method that SFGov uses to fund retirement pay and medical benefits for all its employees, past, present, and future? Is that sustainable, SFGov? Oh no? OK, SFGov.

And if one of my bikes gets a flat tire, have I ever said to myself, “Oh no, it’s an emergency!”


But one supposes that if you had some free money to spend and you wanted to appeal to your bo-bo constituancy, you’d offer the same program.

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Well, this one writes itself. The hardest part will be finding an appealing subject who’s actually used this program already. Take some photos of the victim, you know, probably a her, and make sure have the Financh in the background in the photos, and then throw in a few quotes from a Department Head, and BAM! – you’ve got yourself a Story.

End Of Line

*At some places down in the valley, if you get sick at work your Free Ride Home will be so, so baller, you’ll feel like a billionaire, you know, temporarily anyway, and you’ll tell all your friends about it, and they’ll be so impressed.

Emergency Ride Home is a free program for San Francisco commuters.

Emergency Ride Home provides a ‘safety net’ for San Francisco commuters using sustainable transportation, such as walking, biking, taking transit or ridesharing.

When employees of registered businesses use a sustainable mode to travel to work and experience a personal or family emergency while at work, they can take a taxi, shared taxi service, transit, or rental car and CommuteSmart will reimburse the cost of the ride. Emergency Ride Home is free to employers and employees. Employers must pre-register for the program, and once registered all employees of that business are eligible to use the program.

Who is eligible to participate?

All permanent part-time or full-time employees of a San Francisco employer are eligible to participate.

What qualifies as an emergency?

Employees of registered businesses may request reimbursement for the following qualified emergencies:

Illness or crisis of employee or immediate family member
Carpool or vanpool ride is unavailable due to unexpected changes in the driver’s schedule or vehicle breakdown
Bicycle problem, including flat tire, mechanical failure, vandalism or theft
Required unexpected overtime (i.e. employee was not aware of the situation before the start of the workday). Supervisor authorization is required, and the trip must take place after 10 p.m.
Trip Restrictions

All Emergency Ride Home trips must originate at the employee’s work location in San Francisco. The employee can be dropped off at home, a transit stop or the location of their parked car (e.g. park-and-ride lot, carpool partner’s home, etc.).

Emergency-related side trips on the way home are permitted, including picking up a sick child at school or daycare, filling a prescription at a pharmacy, or stopping at an ATM for cash to pay the taxi driver.

Non-Reimbursable Trips

Personal errands or pre-planned medical appointments
Medical emergencies (i.e. when an ambulance is needed)
Business-related travel
Overtime that was planned or known prior to the start of a workday, or that was not authorized by a supervisor
Natural disasters or civic emergencies (e.g. earthquake, demonstration, etc.)
Transit service breakdown or interruption in service
Transportation to a doctor or hospital resulting from an on-the-job injury (Emergency Ride Home cannot be used to replace an employer’s legal responsibility under workers’ compensation regulations)
Non-emergency related side-trips on the way home
Trips before 10pm by regular transit riders who have unscheduled overtime
Trips made prior to business enrollment in the Emergency Ride Home program
Rental Car Restrictions

Employees are required to use a rental car for trips of 20 miles or more (it is more cost-effective than taking a taxi), unless the employee is unable to drive. Employees should not use a rental car if they are experiencing illness, emotional distress or exhaustion, or are not able to return the car the next day (charges beyond 24 hours will not be reimbursed.)
The program will reimburse up to $60 for the 24 hour period plus insurance
The program does not reimburse for gasoline, parking expenses, any penalties/fees incurred through use/misuse of rental vehicles, or for any charges beyond a 24 hour period
Contact Information

San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment)
City & County of San Francisco
Phone: (415) 355-3727
Email: CommuteSmart@sfgov.org

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2 Responses to ““Emergency Ride Home” – Will San Francisco Pay For Your Taxi Ride Home If You Bike to Work and Get a Flat Tire? Yes”

  1. Justin says:

    Streetsblog was posting pictures of motorcycles using bike lanes and expressing outrage. Why? This article mentions electric bikes and scooters which makes me wonder, are only human powered bikes allowed in bike lanes?

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Yeah, I don’t know how that works. I can see a ban on motorcycles, but then what about electric bikes. I’ve seen limits on unpowered top speed so some bikes are detuned for the American market to keep them legal in some places. The Golden Gate Bridge’s bike lanes/sidewalks are mandatory pedaling zones, so no matter what kind of e-bike you have, you need to at least pretend to be pedaling. The A2B bike I test drove in GGP had a motorcycle-style throttle, as opposed to electric assist, which automatically pedals as hard as you do, keeping things less like a motorcycle

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