Your business can bolster ride-sharing participation rates by providing employees with a guaranteed ride home in case of emergency – basically offering a form of ride-share insurance.
What is a guaranteed ride home program?
- An employer-provided program providing a taxi ride home for employees that share a ride to work – offering employees peace of mind via a simple way to get home in case of emergency.
- While a majority of employers already offer this option informally, a core element of a sound guaranteed ride program is to provide some level of policy structure to the program and to actively communicate the details of the program together with wider ride-share marketing.
How does this help facilitate ride-sharing?
Uncertainty or discomfort with the prospect of being stuck at work without a car is a major perceived barrier to employees sharing a ride to work.
- For these programs to achieve their intended results (overcoming the barrier of being stranded at work in case of emergency), business needs to pro-actively communicate this program is available, how it is requested or approved, and any program limitations. While offering taxi rides informally when people have emergencies is helpful, this passive approach is less likely to encourage employees to try ride-sharing as a new commute option.
- Most companies use vouchers or credit cards to pay for taxis to provide a ride home. Other options such as ride-hailing services (e.g., Uber) or car rental services can also be used.
- Use is usually limited to days the employee shares a ride to work. Businesses may consider expanding this program to those arriving by public transport, cycling, or walking.
- Most programs include use maximums, such as; distance travelled (e.g., 50 km), eligible trip costs (e.g., $50), or the maximum number of uses per year.
- The circumstances that qualify as emergencies should be outlined in advance, along with a request or approval process that fits within existing business processes. A sample of typical emergencies covered and not covered is included below. The option to cover ‘unplanned overtime’ is worth considering – and will likely be highly variable based on business types or employee categories.