Guaranteed Ride Home Details

How does it work?

After the Commute Smart Northwest Office receives the signed Agreement and deposit, they establish an account for the employer that works like a bank account. A participating employer makes a "deposit" into their account to cover anticipated taxi rides by employees for a one-year period.

As employees use the program, "withdrawals" are made from the account to pay for the taxi rides. Employers make additional "deposits," as necessary. Spokane County manages all employer accounts and sends quarterly statements to the GRH Coordinator.

Who is eligible?

Any employee who rides the bus, carpools, vanpools, bikes or walks to work on the day the emergency taxi ride is needed is eligible for a free guaranteed ride home.

What is an emergency?

A guaranteed ride home trip may be taken by an eligible employee in the event of the following emergencies:

  • Employee or family illness
  • Working late unexpectedly
  • Missing normal ride home (e.g. carpool driver leaves work early due to emergency)
  • Other emergency situations occurring during the work day

A guaranteed ride home trip may not be taken for:

  • Pre-scheduled appointments
  • Business-related travel

Where can the taxi go?

The guaranteed ride home trip must begin from work and can end at home or another location (e.g. child care or park & ride lot). Emergency-related interim stops are permitted if they are pre-approved by the GRH Program Coordinator.

What are the limits?

There are no limits on the number and/or length of guaranteed ride home trips taken by eligible employees. If desired, an employer may use their discretion to set limits for the program at the worksite. Driver tips are not covered.


Spokane's Guaranteed Ride Home Program provides peace of mind for employees and employers. The program is easy to use and even easier to administer. The following are responsibilities of Spokane County and participating employers.

Spokane County's Responsibilities:

  • Contract with Spokane Cab to provide service. Provide current list of authorized worksite GRH Coordinators to Spokane Cab.
  • Provide materials to promote the program.
  • Provide materials and training to administer the program.
  • Pay Spokane Cab for legitimate service and recover costs from employer in event of program abuse.
  • Generate and distribute quarterly activity reports to participating employers.
  • Assess an 8% semi-annual administrative fee, based on actual usage.

Participating Employer's Responsibilities:

  • Identify a GRH Program Coordinator and at least one Back-up coordinator for each affected worksite.
  • Send all GRH Program coordinators to Spokane's GRH Program Orientation Course, provided by Spokane County, prior to implementing the program at their worksite(s).
  • Approve and arrange requests for taxi service, using Pre-trip Checklist form.
  • Promote the program to all employees at least once a year.
  • Let all employees know how to contact their GRH Program Coordinator when they need a ride home.
  • Deposit $200, $300, $400 or $500 into employer's GRH account. Make additional deposits, as necessary.
  • Send Pre-trip Checklists to County by tenth of the following month.


Spokane's Guaranteed Ride Home Program has been designed to be convenient and easy to use. When an employee needs a ride home, an immediate response from the GRH Program Coordinator or Back-up Coordinator is critical. Here's what happens when a call comes in:

Employee: Calls GRH Program Coordinator when they need a ride home.

Coordinator: Determines if request is appropriate and approves/disapproves the trip.
Coordinator obtains trip information from employee using Pre-trip Checklist form and calls Spokane Cab to arrange taxi service and confirms arrangements with employee.

Spokane Cab: Approves trip request from list of authorized GRH Program Coordinators.
Dispatches taxi to arrive within 10-20 minutes, depending upon location and time of day.
Employee: Meets taxi cab and shows driver photo identification, then takes taxi ride.

Spokane Cab: Completes trip voucher and gives to employee to fill in employer name, reason for trip and sign. Spokane Cab keeps both copies of voucher and sends a copy to the GRH Program Coordinator after the ride. Then, sends original vouchers to Spokane County with monthly billing.

Coordinator: Sends copies of Pre-Trip Checklists to Spokane County by the 10th of following month.