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Emergency Ride Home program information: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Posted by Sarthak Prasad on June 12, 2023

Following is some information from University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding their Emergency Ride Home program:

UW Madison's Emergency Ride Home Program is intended to provide another incentive to employees who opt NOT do drive alone to campus, so it is not available to any employee with an annual (car) parking permit. They use a voucher based system for their ERH program with an annual budget of $1,600. They have less than 2 dozen people use the ERH program every year and they give 3 vouchers for Lyft to those enrolled in this program. UW Madison still sees a desire for this program, because as they said, “the point is that the rides are free.”

  • How often an employee can use this service in a year?
    • ERH can be used up to three times every six months.
  • How do you fund the ERH program? Do you use your departmental funds or is there another funding source available?
    • ERH is funded through parking revenue
  • How often do employees use this program? What is the annual cost that you have to reimburse (in general)?
    • Annual budget is $1,600
  • does the $1,600 per year budget includes administrative cost?
    • No, but there essentially are not any administrative cost. The program takes very little time and it is folded into my existing duties

  • Who has the administrative responsibility for this program?
    • I do. It is a UW Transportation Services program.

  • I understand that the employees need to not pay the taxi and just provide the driver with the ERH form. Does the taxi company file for reimbursement? How does that system look like?
    • We have a contract with the cab companies and they invoice us and include a copy of the form with the invoice.

  • I am a bit confused about the Lyft option. The website says that users will get 3 codes to use per six months after submitting the form, but how do you ensure that the users are not using this code for personal use?
    • We assume good faith use. To get the Lyft code you click a box that says you agree to our policies. In theory if someone abused the program they might be subject to disciplinary action (or at least a nasty letter and/or being banned from future use).

  • Would you be able to connect me with the Lyft point of contact that you have for the ERH program?
  • Employees only get either 3 codes by Lyft or 3 taxi fares, right?
    • The policy is 3 total rides per 6 months, but it would be possible to cheat that and do both (or use more than 3 cab rides). It is up to me to monitor for abuse. In the 16 years that I have managed the program I have had ONE case of abuse.  We literally goes months sometimes with no one using the program and there’s never more than half a dozen rides in a single month.