Emergency Ride Home

Worried about how to get home from work/school in an emergency if you walk, bike, or take transit to commute to campus? If so, you’re definitely not alone. This program is for UBC students, faculty and staff who need to leave campus during the work or school day due to an emergency. UBC will reimburse you for 90% of the travel costs.
People boarding a bus

The Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program provides commuters who regularly walk, bike, take transit, vanpool, and carpool with a reliable ride home via a cab, car-share, or ride-hailing when an emergency arises and they cannot commute home by how they commuted to school or work that day. Campus + Community Planning will reimburse you for 90% of the cost (before tip)!

How Does the Program Work?

  • Use a taxi, car share or ride-hail company and request a pickup.
  • Request a taxi receipt or save online documentation that indicates fare paid, not including the tip.
  • Students: Fill out the form below and include the original receipt. Further details below.
  • Faculty/Staff: Create a Workday claim and include the original receipt. Further details below.

Eligibility - Who Can Use ERH?

To be eligible for the emergency ride home program you must meet all the following criteria:

  1. You are a current UBC student, faculty, or staff member
  2. Your emergency ride originates from a University site such as UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan, UBC Robson Square, or a UBC Hospital Site (e.g. VGH, St. Paul's)
  3. You must use a non-SOV (single occupancy vehicle) commute mode to travel school/work at UBC at least three times a week. Non-SOV commute modes include carpooling, transit, cycling, or walking.
  4. You must have used a non-SOV commute mode on the day you request an emergency ride home.
  5. This service may only be used for trips between a university site and the location of emergency, a residence, hospital, or to get to the location of a parked vehicle (e.g. park and ride). You may use the program to a maximum of two times per year.

How to Make a Claim

Only current UBC students, staff, and faculty are eligible to use the ERH. Further detailed information about eligibility is provided below.

To submit a claim, please follow the instructions for students or staff and faculty provided below. All submissions must include references details so that UBC can confirm the claim. Example references include supervisors, manager, or professors that can speak to your emergency and commuting behavior.

Current students at a UBC site may fill out the form below to make an Emergency Ride Home claim. Staff or Faculty without access to Workday may also fill out this form. Submissions will be evaluated by the Transportation Office and will be processed in two to six weeks.


UBC Affiliation:
One file only.
64 MB limit.
Allowed types: txt, rtf, pdf, doc, docx, odt, ppt, pptx, odp, xls, xlsx, ods, jpeg, png, jpg.
Please email info.planning@ubc.ca with any further questions. 

Current faculty and staff members at an eligible UBC site must make their Emergency Ride Home expense report through Workday. Use the details below on your expense report, and see Create an Out of Pocket Expense Report in the Workday Knowledge Base for guidance. Faculty or staff without access to Workday may fill out the form in the student tab above. Submissions will be evaluated by the Transportation Office and will be processed in two to six weeks.

To help us review your expense claim more quickly, please be sure to do the following in Workday:

  • In the memo field, include ‘Emergency Ride Home Program: [YOUR NAME] and Submission Date: [DATE OF RIDE]’
  • Choose Program: PM012499 and Cost Center: CC00929
  • On your Expense Line:
    • Attach a copy of your receipt
    • Date: [DATE OF RIDE]
    • Expense Item: Other Travel
    • Total Amount: [CLAIM ONLY 90% OF THE TRIP SUBTOTAL] 

For any questions or inquiries, please contact info.planning@ubc.ca.

Additional Information

The Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program is a Transportation Demand Strategy (TDM) that guarantees students, staffs, and faculty a ride to their residence, and to certain other destinations under very specific circumstances of need. It is intended for people who regularly utilize forms of transportation other than a Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV). SOV users are ineligible to use the program.

The purpose of an Emergency Ride Home program is to provide a ‘safety net’ to those who choose an alternate form of transportation. These alternate forms of transportation can include, but are not limited to:

  • Public transit
  • cycling
  • carpooling
  • vanpooling
  • walking.

An Emergency Ride Home program is the elimination of the psychological barrier associated with commuting via alternate forms of transportation and commuting in a Single Occupancy Vehicle. Indeed, in a number of surveys including the UBC transportation surveys of 1998 and 2000, one of the barriers to alternate forms of transportation was the idea of “what if.” An ERH program is, ideally, never used but provided in the case that it is truly needed.

Who is Covered:

  • Undergraduate students represented by the Alma Mater Society or the Students' Union of Okanagan UBC
  • Graduate students represented by the Graduate Student Society or the Students' Union of Okanagan UBC
  • UBC Faculty represented by the University Faculty Association
  • All university staff

Note: CUPE 116 members also have additional support for night shift employees which is separate from the ERH program.

Conditions for Eligibility:

  • Must have used an alternative form of transportation on the day in question.
  • Acceptable modes of transportation are:
    • Carpooling
    • Vanpooling
    • Public Transit
    • Cycling
    • Walking
    • and other forms of non-SOV (single occupancy vehicle) transportation.
  • Must be a member in good standing of their respective unions and/or associations
  • Must have a valid reason for using the ERH program and must follow set guidelines.
  • Service may only be used for trips between University and location of emergency, a residence, hospital, or to the location of a parked vehicle (i.e. a park and ride). 
  • Intermediate stops may be made only if the stops directly pertain to the emergency. For example, you can stop and pickup a child from day-care or stop at the pharmacy to pick up a prescription if it is related to the emergency.
  • Program may only be used a maximum of two times per year.
  • Unused days do not carry over to future years.
  • Emergency rides will not be available when extreme weather conditions cause the university to close and send employees home. Additionally, this service does not apply when bus service is erratic due to inclement weather or labour disputes.
  • The user pays for the service up front; the ERH program will cover 90% of the taxicab fare, without a tip. User must complete the application form that includes a contact number to confirm the nature of the emergency.
  • In both cases, tips are optional and are the employee’s, and solely the employee’s responsibility.

The following examples are situations that qualify for the ERH program.

  • Personal illness or injury that prevents you from using your normal means for transportation.
  • Illness or injury of your child/dependent where presence is required immediately.
  • Illness or injury of your partner/significant other where presence is required immediately.
  • Family emergency

The following are examples of situations that do not qualify for the ERH program.

  • You worked overtime
  • Your class is cancelled or changed
  • Your shift is cancelled or changed
  • You are too inebriated to drive
  • You missed your carpool, transit, or the last bus
  • You need to travel from work/class to a scheduled appointment
  • You need to pick up your car from the auto repair shot
  • Using the ERH to a location other than that of an emergency
  • Any non-emergency use

The following arrangement is separate from the ERH Program.

This passage comes directly from the most recent collective agreement available from CUPE 116, page 55.

"Whereas employees may find difficulties in transportation at night, it is agreed that where such problems arise with employees required to work after 11:00pm and before 6:00am, that the following or similar arrangements be made.

A taxi company is selected to supply transportation to their place or residence

The senior supervisor in the department where employees work late and require taxi transportation be authorized a sign slip stating, "please transport __________ to __________ Avenue/Street." This slip will have the date and time on it.

Each month the taxi firm will submit the bill to the University accompanied by the authorized signatures.

The taxi company will be supplied a list of authorized signatures forwarded by the University."


ERH is a service provided by Transportation Planning. UBC will provide the Emergency Ride Home program in accordance with the guidelines discussed above and as budget allows. By requesting assistance from the Emergency Ride Home program, the participant in the program explicitly acknowledges that UBC assumes no liability for the timeliness of participating vendor(s) or any accidents that may occur during an ERH trip. Any attempt at defrauding the service will be dealt with accordingly.