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‘Emergency’ rides home for workers in SF will no longer include Lyft, Uber

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The Emergency Ride Home is a Department of the Environment program available to anyone who works in San Francisco and uses a “sustainable mode” to travel to work.
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A program that pays for “emergency rides home” for those who work in San Francisco will no longer provide rides on Uber or Lyft.

That’s after a vote of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority in late June disbursed $41,832 to the Department of the Environment for the emergency program with one new rule: Uber and Lyft rides are not allowed.

The Emergency Ride Home is a Department of the Environment program available to anyone who works in San Francisco and uses a “sustainable mode” to travel to work, like bicycling, carpooling, taking public transit or other transit that is not a single person driving a car.

The program aims make those “sustainable” modes easier than driving by providing a fund when emergency quick trips are needed.

Any San Francisco worker, regardless of where they live, can submit up to four annual reimbursement requests up to $150 for each “emergency” ride home from work by taxi or other transit, which the Department of Environment describes as a bicycle problem, like a flat tire, an illness or crisis of a family member, or required unexpected overtime, among other reasons.

However, now that Uber and Lyft rides are not allowed, use of the program may shift dramatically.

Data on the program sent to the San Francisco Examiner by the Department of the Environment show 78 percent of all emergency travel reimbursements were for ride-hails like Uber and Lyft in the last year.

That’s $1,300 disbursed for ride-hails, and only $312 for taxis, in fiscal year 2016-2017. In fiscal year 2015-2016, the split was about 50/50 between ride hails and taxis.

Data shows 57 reimbursements granted to date in fiscal year 2016-2017, with 42 of those uses for personal or family illnesses and crises.

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