Guaranteed Ride Home Program Enters Fourth Year

Home is just a taxi ride away with the Guaranteed Ride Home program. This is the fourth successful year for the program, which provides emergency transportation for employees who use alternate transit and must leave work early for a family emergency or if they become ill while on the job.

Employees and employers like Guaranteed Ride Home. What began with as a demonstration program in 1997 and 1998 is now in its second year of full operation, and counts Hacienda businesses like the PeopleSoft, Lucent, SBC, Sprint PCS, Hexcel, Golden Grain, Sun Diamond Growers, Alameda County Courts, Unisource, California Indemnity Insurance, Clausen Computer Solutions, and many others among its participants.

Human resource specialists believe that GRH offers an employer an excellent employee program without any administrative work.

"It's a great bang for the buck it's a security blanket program," said Lori Huddleston, spokesperson for Nelson/Nygaard, the consulting firm that administers the program for the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (CMA). The program is funded by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Fund For Clean Air, which receives $4 from each vehicle registration fee in Alameda County.

To date, emergency rides have been used by about five percent of the more than 2,000 Alameda County employees who have signed up for the program.

Guaranteed Ride Home offers a generous six rides within a 12 month period. There are no minimum number of days an employee must use transit to qualify for the program.

"People won't get out of their cars to try transit if, for example, they have children and are worried about not being able to get to them if they become ill," said Huddleston. "But, with the Guaranteed Ride Home program, employees have peace of mind knowing they can leave work within minutes for an illness, family crisis or unscheduled overtime."

To use GRH, an employee picks up the phone and calls the taxi provider who has a cab at the business within minutes. When they return to work, the employee fills out a taxi voucher and mails or faxes it to the GRH program. Anyone who uses transit even only occasionally can sign up for the GRH program. .

Enrolling in the program is easy. Simply call the Hacienda Owners Association at (925) 734-6500 or the Guaranteed Ride Home program hotline number at (510) 433-0320 and follow the instructions provided.

Usually, a company is required to have a minimum of 100 employees to qualify for the program. However, thanks to the efforts of the Hacienda Owners Association, the park has been identified as a single employment center and all its businesses may participate.

To be eligible for enrollment, you must be a permanent full- or part-time employee and live within 100 miles of your Hacienda work site.

The City of Pleasanton's Commendable Commutes program offers additional coverage to companies with 75 or more employees, including an extension of the Guaranteed Ride Home program for employees who live more than 100 miles away from Hacienda. Contact the Hacienda Owners Association at (925) 734-6500 for details.

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