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  Emergency Ride Home Toolkit

Sponsored by: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation

ERH Toolkit


Step 1: Find Funding

Costs to Create an ERH Program
The cost of creating and launching an ERH program varies widely. Some programs have started with just a few hundred dollars—just enough to pay for materials and staff time to set up vendor contracts. Other programs have spent thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns to publicize their new service. Successful programs can be started at either end of the cost spectrum. To help minimize start-up costs, refer to the sample materials and templates throughout this toolkit as a starting point for developing your own.

Costs to Manage an ERH Program
ERH programs cost very little to run—on average, only a few dollars per eligible commuter each year. These programs are typically described by their managers as “virtually running themselves” or “requiring almost no time once set up.”

The table below summarizes findings from a 2002 survey (PDF, 18 pp., 151KB) of more than 45 ERH programs. The survey confirms that ERH programs are relatively inexpensive and require little administrative effort once they are up and running.


Geographic Coverage
of ERH Program





Administrative Burden
(minutes/week per 100 commuters)




Usage Rates (rides/year per 100 commuters)




Approx. Cost ($/commuter per year)




Funding Sources

ERH programs are funded by a wide variety of sources. TMAs often fund programs through member fees from participating companies. Congestion Management and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds have helped launched many ERH programs. Grants from state Departments of Transportation also sponsor ERH programs.

Here are some links to possible funding sources:

Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT)’s Web site on TEA-21 Reauthorization. (Provides an update of Federal legislation that authorizes CMAQ funds.)

California Department of Transportation’s Division of Local Assistance. (For California-based applicants.)

New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Smart Moves for Business Program (For New Jersy-based applicants.)


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Kit Steps

  1. Find Funding

  2. Establish Guidelines

  3. Create Systems to Provide Rides

  4. Register and Educate Partners and Commuters

  5. Manage Effectively and Effortlessly

  6. Marketing Tips

  Additional Resources

  ERH Site Index



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