What is the Guaranteed Ride Home?
One of the most common concerns shared by commuters is being stranded without access to a car. The regional Guaranteed Ride Home Program (GRH) helps alleviate this concern by providing employees who rideshare to work with a reimbursed ride home in the event of a valid emergency. GRH is a free benefit offered to commuters who carpool, vanpool, take transit, bicycle, or walk to work. In order to take advantage of this program, employees must work for companies enrolled in the regional GRH program.
This is our version of “commuter insurance.” If you are without your car and experience a valid emergency, the GRH Program will reimburse your ride, up to 2 times in a fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), whether you choose a one-way taxi or ride from a transportation network company (up to $3.50 per mile), one-day car rental, a ride from a carsharing company, or a transit ticket (public bus, Metro Rail or Metrolink).
Contact the Regional GRH Program office at 951.352.8229 to see if your employer is enrolled.
The regional Guaranteed Ride Home is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
How does GRH work?
To find out if your company is enrolled in the GRH Program or to get more information, contact the GRH Office at 951.352.8229.
- The employer worksite must be located in Los Angeles or Orange County.
- To participate, your company must enroll by completing an Employer Client Profile (in Los Angeles County) or a Service Agreement (in Orange County) and meet the requirements outlined by each agency.
- Employers must designate an Employer Representative to administer the GRH Program, agree to adhere to the GRH Guidelines, and distribute materials designed for the program.
- Once the employer enrolls in the GRH Program, all employees who rideshare to work are eligible for the GRH reimbursement. Employees do not sign up individually.
- The GRH Program allows ridesharing employees to choose the most efficient means to get where they need to go during a qualified emergency. The GRH Program will reimburse a one-way taxi ride, one-day car rental, or transit ticket (public bus, Metro Rail, or Metrolink) to get them to their destination. The cost of a one-way taxi ride or the cost of a Transportation Network Company (TNC) is reimbursable (up to $3.50 per mile). For the use of a TNC or a one-way taxi ride, a tip of up to 15% of the total mileage cost (excluding any discounts) is reimbursable. Examples of TNC include Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, Wingz, Summon and Haxi.
- Depending on your company’s internal GRH policy, either the employer or the employee will pay up-front for the employee’s selected emergency ride.
- If the GRH Program was included in your South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (South Coast AQMD) Rule 2202 Plan as a basic/support strategy, then it is the employer’s responsibility to arrange for the ride and provide a ride home at no out-of-pocket cost to your employees. You, as the employer, can submit invoices under the GRH Program for reimbursement for all qualified rides without affecting compliance.
- Once the employee provides the employer with a valid receipt from the service provider (taxi/rental car/transportation network company such as Uber/Lyft, Metrolink/Metro Rail or transit agency), the employer will complete and submit a GRH Reimbursement Claim Form to the GRH office within 60 days of the GRH usage date.
- Claim forms received after 60 days will not be accepted and trip costs incurred shall become the responsibility of the employee and/or employer.
- The GRH office will review the GRH Reimbursement Claim Form. Upon approval, the GRH office will send the reimbursement check to the party that paid for the expense as noted on the GRH Reimbursement Claim form, within 10 business days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What qualifies as a valid GRH emergency?
Emergency circumstances that qualify for a reimbursable ride home under the GRH Program include:
- Personal illness/emergency
- Unexpected illness/emergency of an immediate family member
- Carpool/vanpool driver has an emergency or unexpected overtime
- Carpool/vanpool driver illness
- Employee is required to work unscheduled overtime
What does not qualify as a GRH emergency?
Situations which do not qualify as an emergency under the GRH Program include:
- Personal errands
- Non-emergency appointments/meetings/doctor visits
- Voluntary overtime
- Public transportation disruptions or delays for any reason
- Being sent home from work early due to scheduling issues by Management
- A ride to work
- Business travel
- Inclement weather
- Any trip where alternate transportation could be arranged in advance
- On-the-job injury
- Mechanical breakdown of carpool or vanpool
- In place of a loaner/replacement vanpool vehicle
- If vehicle is towed, impounded, or cannot be accessed because of police activity
- Early release from work due to loss of power, lighting or network access at the worksite
- Being sent home from work early for any reason other than specified in the rules as a valid GRH emergency
- Natural disasters, including but not limited to: fires, mudslides, flooding and earthquakes, are excluded as a valid reason for GRH reimbursement.
What are valid GRH destinations?
The GRH Program offers flexibility, allowing you to choose from a variety of destinations that serve your unique needs, including:
- Personal vehicle (if you are parked at a Park & Ride lot or transit station)
- Medical facility (not related to an on-the-job injury)
- Daycare or school
- Interim stops will also be accepted if they are needed to reach the final emergency destination
Do I have to pay for the rides?
Either the employer or third party/consultant or the employee must pay for the emergency ride upfront. After submitting a GRH Reimbursement Claim Form, the GRH Program will reimburse the cost for qualified ride directly to the appropriate party.
How often can I use GRH?
Each ridesharing employee can receive the GRH reimbursement up to two (2) times in a fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), based on the employer’s program enrollment or re-enrollment date.