In order to promote alternatives to commuting in single-occupant vehicles, the University supports the Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program. This program provides assurance of a ride in an emergency for those who use alternative commute methods.
The Emergency Ride Home is free to an eligible and approved employee. The costs are supported by the employee's department. The employee's department either directly pays the transportation vendor or reimburses the employee for transportation costs of the ERH.
The ERH program is available to all WSU employees, i.e., faculty, administrative professional, classified, assistants, and temporary employees who use approved alternative commute methods defined below.
An emergency requiring an Emergency Ride Home may exist when:
- An employee becomes ill.
- An employee family member becomes ill.
- The regular car pool or van pool driver has an emergency, leaving the other riders without a ride home.
- The employee is required to work beyond his or her normally scheduled shift without prior notice of at least one work period. The need must be documented by the supervisor.
Alternative Commute Modes
The alternative commute mode must result in the elimination of at least one vehicle trip. The employee must travel at least fifty percent of the way using the alternative commute mode.
An employee using any of the following transportation methods from home to the work site on the day of the emergency is eligible to request an Emergency Ride Home under provisions of this section:
- A car pool which includes two or more employees sharing the ride. To be a car pool there must be two or more employees sharing the ride.
- A van pool which includes seven to fifteen people who travel together to the work site.
- Traveling to the work site by bicycle or public transit.
- Walking to the work site.
The Emergency Ride Home program is to be used for the purposes stated above and not for the following:
- Prescheduled appointments.
- Prescheduled overtime.
- Business purposes not included in this section, but provided for by the SAAM or other sections of the BPPM.
- Personal errands.
- Trips to the hospital or doctor's office that should be completed in an ambulance due to the condition of the patient.
- Acts of nature or work site disruptions that affect the work force in general.
- Working late when the supervisor has provided notice during the previous work period.
- To provide rides for nonstate employees.
The employee notifies the supervisor as soon as possible after the need for the ERH becomes apparent. The supervisor provides verbal approval for the ERH if it meets criteria described in this section. The supervisor also approves the alternative commute mode used for the ERH. Within one working day of the employee's request, the supervisor prepares an explanatory memorandum for the employee's personnel file. The memorandum includes the following information:
- Date and time of ERH.
- Name of employee.
- Name and title of approving supervisor.
- Description of the emergency that required the ERH.
- The commute mode used.
- Hours and type of leave taken by the employee.
Copies of the memorandum are provided to the employee and placed in the employee's departmental personnel file.
Accounting for Time
The employee accounts for time away from work on the applicable Time or Leave Report. See leave and time reporting procedures for various employee types in Chapter 60.
The following transportation options are available to an employee requiring an ERH, subject to the supervisor's approval.
The employee may use public transportation. The employee pays the vendor and seeks reimbursement from the department using confirming purchase procedures. See 70.20.
The employee may use a Motor Pool or departmental vehicle. Use of a University vehicle is contingent upon vehicle availability. The usage may not interfere with University business.
The employee's supervisor or administrator determines the employee's fitness to drive. If the employee is not fit to drive a coworker may provide the ride (see below) or the employee may take public transportation or a taxi (see above).
An employee using a Motor Pool vehicle must complete all requirements for the use of the vehicle. At WSU Pullman, the employee submits an approved Vehicle Release Authorization to Motor Pool to obtain a vehicle. See 95.35. At other WSU locations, the employee follows established procedures to obtain a Motor Pool vehicle.
A departmental vehicle may be used for an ERH. In such cases, the department directly supports vehicle costs of the ERH.
The employee may use a taxi. The employee pays the vendor and seeks reimbursement from the department using confirming purchase procedures. See 70.20.
Ride from a Coworker
A coworker may drive his or her own car or a state car to provide a ride for the employee.
If the coworker drives his or her own car, he or she may submit a claim for reimbursement at the prevailing privately-owned vehicle mileage rate. See 95.19. The claim is submitted to the Travel Office on a Travel Expense Voucher. See 95.20. In such cases, the driver's own insurance is primary in the event of an accident. The driver is on official state business while providing a ride for an employee requiring an ERH.
Route of ERH
Trips in a University-owned vehicle or taxi may originate at the employee's work location and end at the employee's home or other designated location, e.g., hospital. Any stops enroute must be approved by the supervisor and documented in the supervisor's memorandum described above. The supervisor grants permission for stopping enroute only when necessitated by the particular emergency.
Supervisors are responsible for monitoring the appropriate use of ERH. Supervisors take appropriate disciplinary action if employees make unauthorized or inappropriate use of this program. Disciplinary action can include termination of ERH privileges.