Step 3: Create Systems to Provide Rides
Voucher and Reimbursement Forms
Most ERH programs issue vouchers to commuters so that paying for the ride is hassle-free for employees. The commuter gives the voucher to the ride provider (most often a taxi or rental car company) as payment. The ride provider submits the voucher with a billing invoice for payment. Other programs ask commuters to first pay for the entire ride out of pocket and then apply for reimbursement.
Most ERH programs use vouchers that cover all, or almost all, of the cost of the ride. Another benefit of using vouchers is that they provide an easy way to track program data. Many employers use vouchers as a primary means to track ride costs, number of rides per employee per year, number of rides per vendor, distance of rides, etc.
Here are some other voucher and reimbursement options:
|•||Voucher covers a set dollar amount or percentage of the fare. The commuter pays any fare over that amount.|
|•||Commuter is reimbursed for 100% of the ride, including a tip for the driver.|
|•||Commuter is reimbursed for a set dollar amount per ride.|
|•||“How to Use the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) Voucher” (Smart Trips, Knoxville, TN) (video)|
|•||“Emergency Ride Home – How to Print Voucher” (ShareARide North Carolina) (video)|
|•||Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (Goleta, California) Refund Application (PDF)|
Working with Ride Vendors
Here are some do’s and don’ts for working with ride vendors:
|•||Do specify if intermediate stops, such as to a school or drugstore, are permitted.|
|•||Do state mileage, fare, or any other limits for ERH services that the employee must observe.|
|•||Do request monthly or quarterly statements of rides provided. Statements should include the name of the rider, voucher number, ride destination, and fare amount.|
|•||Do be sure to notify the vendor if your voucher or approval process changes.|
|•||Do audit your invoices and bills to make sure vendors and commuters follow your program’s guidelines.|
|•||Don’t expect ride vendors to verify that every ride and circumstance is eligible under your program guidelines.|
Sample Ride Vendor Contracts
Post-ride evaluations and annual surveys are a great way to gather information and feedback that can be used to fine-tune and improve your ERH programs. They collect feedback that help gauge the response time of ride vendors, the ease with which commuters can request rides, and commuters’ overall satisfaction with the service. This feedback is also important for gauging the value the service provides to employees.
|•||Guaranteed Ride Home Programs: A Study of Program Characteristics, Utilization, and Cost
– Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 10, No. 4, 2007
|•||Alameda County Transportation Commission Guaranteed Ride Home Program Evaluation 2015 (PDF)|