Commute Options

Commuters in Spokane County have many options when it comes to leaving their cars at home. Why drive alone to work, when there are less expensive ways to get there? But don't just take our word for it. Check out the Commute Cost Calculator to determine what your commute actually costs and how much you could save by using one of seven other commute modes.

The Benefits of Carpooling The benefits of Vanpooling! The benefits of riding the bus! The benefits of bicycling The benefits of walking
The benefits of a compressed works schedule The benefits of teleworking A guaranteed ride home program


What is a Emergency Ride Home (ERH) Program

The Emergency Ride Home (ERH) program by Commute Smart Northwest provides transportation for employees who carpool, ride the bus, use STA Rideshare (formerly vanpool), bike or walk to work and need a ride during the day because of an emergency. Most drivers fear using a commute option because they think they will be trapped at work if an emergency arises or are required to work unexpected overtime.

An emergency ride home program ensures they will be able to get home. It takes the fear and anxiety out of using commute options and provides increased commuting choices for employees.

ERH programs allow employees to request same-day transportation home from their workplace. Transportation is generally provided by cab, mobile service, employer provided car or a 2-hour transit pass. Transportation costs should be covered, in full, by the employer.

There may be restrictions placed on the number of times employees may use the service, the maximum one way miles or the trip purposes (for example, most programs do not allow employees to request rides in the case of appointments or overtime scheduled in advance).

Please contact your Employee Transportation Coordinator (ETC) to see if you have a guaranteed ride home program at your worksite. The following are general guidelines for guaranteed ride home programs:

  • You may use an Emergency Ride Home to travel from your worksite to:
    • Your home
    • The location of your personal vehicle (e.g. park & ride lot, daycare center, carpool partner's home)
    • Your medical provider
    • An intermediate stop is permitted if it is related to the nature of the emergency, such as picking up a sick child from school before going home or to the location of your car.
  • You can use an Emergency Ride Home, with ETC approval for:
    • Employee or family illness
    • Your supervisor unexpectedly requests that you work late (that is, the request comes on that same day, without prior notice or knowledge)
    • Unexpected change in planned ride home (e.g. your carpool driver had to leave early due to an emergency)
    • Other emergency situations which occur during the workday
  • Inappropriate use of the program may result in loss of ERH privileges.

What are the benefits of a Emergency Ride Home program?

  • Encourages increased employee participation in carpooling, STA Ridesharing (formerly vanpool), bicycling, walking and riding the bus at relatively low cost to employer
  • Provides high sense of security for employees by eliminating primary employee barrier to using commuting options
  • Enhances and supports overall worksite CTR program
  • Provides an incentive for those who already rideshare, take the bus, bike or walk to keep doing it!
  • For more information on how to start a Emergency Ride Home program at your place of employment, please contact Kim Stolz at


STA Routes & Schedules - Riding the bus is easy and convenient. Find the route and schedule that works best for you.

STA Public Rideshare InfoWhy put miles on your personal car, when you can put them on a STA owned van?

STA Park and Ride Lots - Don't live near a bus stop, go to the nearest park and ride and catch the bus.

Bike Map provided by Spokane Regional Transportation Council

CommuteFinderNW - find a carpool partner or join a vanpool

Telework - find out more and how to get a telework program started