We know you're out there doing your part to make Arlington County a better place by biking, walking, carpooling and taking transit to work. But what happens if you have an unexpected emergency or you need to work late and your transit option is no longer available?
Enter the Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) program. Operated by Commuter Connections, GRH rescues commuters and provides a free taxi ride home up to 4 times per year to commuters in the DC region.
There’s no catch, but we know you probably have a few questions – check out our handy GRH FAQ.
Q: How do I get started?
A: Register for free by completing the form on Commuter Connections website. You must receive approval from Commuter Connections prior to using the GRH service.
Q: Is there any cost at all for me?
A: Nope, it's 100% free for you. You just have to complete the registration form (which is also free). Free, free, free.
Q: How long is my registration good for?
A: Your registration is valid for 1 year, because you never know when your circumstances may change. Maybe you’ve moved or you start a new job – it’s important to keep files updated and to make sure you still qualify.
Remember, you must renew your GRH registration each year prior to expiration.
Q: When can I use the GRH service?
A: The GRH program can only be used in cases of unexpected personal or family emergency, unexpected illness or unscheduled overtime. Natural disasters, weather, transit delays and previously scheduled medical appointments are not valid cases for use of GRH. For unscheduled overtime, requests for GRH must be made before the commuter’s registered work end and requires supervisor verification.
Q: What qualifies as an “eligible commuter?”
A: You must be physically working in the following areas:
- Virginia counties: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William
- Washington DC
- The city of Baltimore
- The city of Alexandria
- Maryland counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s
Check out the full list of where eligible commuters can live (see #9 on the list).
Q: Where will the taxi pick me up?
A: All GRH trips must start from your office location. Depending on your type of emergency, you may be required to use a few different transportation modes to get home – meaning, you might need to take a taxi, car rental, transit or a combination of these services to reach your final destination.
Commuter Connections will determine your route and will provide GRH authorization. If you must use transit, the portion of that trip is reimbursed through a submitted voucher by the commuter.
Q: For unscheduled overtime, when should I call GRH to schedule my ride home?
A: Simply put, as soon as possible. You must request to use the service before the end of your work time. A supervisor’s verification will be required at the time of the request.
Q: How early/late can I use GRH?
A: GRH service is only available from 6 am to 10 pm, Monday through Friday.
Did we mention it was free? You just have to apply.
Q: How can I promote GRH and other transportation options in my company?
A: Reach out to us. With our expertise in implementing commuter benefits, we'll provide you with the resources you'll need.
Editor's Note: This blog was first published in October 2014 and has been republished with updated information written by Keara Mehlert.
Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/Kittner.com