Participation Guidelines

Participation Guidelines

WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN AREA  GUARANTEED RIDE HOME PROGRAM  PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES 

Guidelines are subject to change without notice. Call 1-800-745-7433 or visit www.commuterconnections.org for current Participation Guidelines.

    1. Commuters must be officially registered with Commuter Connections before using the Guaranteed Ride Home service. However, commuters who have not been officially registered may use the GRH service one time, providing they meet all other eligibility criteria. This is referred to as a “one-time exception.” Any commuter granted a one-time exception must officially register before additional trips are granted. Commuters must provide the supervisor name and phone number and at least two (2) phone numbers (home/cell and work) in order to register for GRH service. Registered commuters are those who have received an official registration letter and GRH ID card from Commuter ConnectionsRegistered and one-time exception commuters must be carpooling, vanpooling, taking transit, bicycling, or walking to their site of employment at least two (2) days per week and on the day they use the GRH service. GRH is only available to people commuting to and from work.
    2. Commuters must call Commuter Connections and receive authorization from Commuter Connections prior to using the GRH service. Commuter Connections will issue an authorization number to the commuter to approve a GRH trip. Commuters will not be reimbursed for trips not authorized by Commuter Connections. After approval, Commuter Connections will make the GRH trip arrangements for the commuter and, if necessary, provide instructions on how and where the GRH transportation provider will pick up the commuter.  Commuter Connections is equipped to provide wheelchair accessible transportation as part of the GRH service as needed.
    3. Registered commuters may use the GRH program up to four (4) times annually from their official registration date.  Commuters who received a one-time exception then officially register with Commuter Connections may use the GRH service three (3) more times within 12 months from the date of their one-time exception GRH trip. The GRH trip credits are non-transferable.
    4. Commuters must re-register annually to maintain their GRH registration. Commuters may contact Commuter Connections to re-register and update their registration information or request re-registration through the Commuter Connections website.
    5. The GRH program may only be used in cases of unexpected personal or family emergency, unexpected illness, or unscheduled overtime. Cases in which the GRH program cannot be used include, but are not limited to, the following: previously scheduled medical appointments, trips to the doctor, urgent care center, emergency room or hospital for a commuter that needs medical attention, personal errands, transit service disruptions and/or delays, business related travel, working late without a supervisor’s request, weather emergencies, any type of office or building closings and/or evacuations, natural and/or man-made disasters. If any of the above unqualified cases should lead to a qualifying reason, the trip will be denied due to its underlying cause. 
    6. Requests to use the GRH program because of unscheduled overtime must be made before the commuter’s registered work end time, and a supervisor’s verification will be required at the time of the request.
    7. GRH service is available between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except designated program holidays and any planned and/or unplanned Federal Government office closings.  GRH TRIPS MUST BE TAKEN BEFORE 10:00 P.M to ensure that the commuter has received their ride.  Designated program Holidays include:  New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
    8. To be eligible, a commuter must be physically working in the following areas in the Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, MD regions. These areas  include: the District of Columbia, the Maryland counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s; the City of Baltimore, and the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; and the City of Alexandria  as well as all cities within the aforementioned counties.
    9. Eligible commuters can live anywhere inside the areas listed in Guideline #8 or in any of the following areas:  Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot or Washington counties in Maryland; and Caroline, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Warren, or Westmoreland counties, the City of Fredericksburg, or the City of Winchester in Virginia; and Berkeley, Hampshire, or Jefferson County  in West Virginia; and Adams, Franklin, or York counties in Pennsylvania.  Any residence outside of the above-mentioned areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    10. All GRH trips must originate from the commuter’s registered work location. Depending on the nature of the emergency, and home and work locations, a commuter using the GRH service may be required to use a taxi, car rental, transit, or any combination of these services to reach their destination point.Commuter Connections will determine the type of service used and will issue a valid GRH authorization number at that time.
    11. Commuter Connections will pay for one vendor service and/or one transit service per request.  If the GRH trip uses a taxi, Commuter Connections will pay for all charges, excluding gratuity, to the destination. The commuter is responsible only for tipping the taxi driver. Cancellation on the part of the commuter of a GRH trip may count as one of the four annual trips.
      If a transit option is used for part of the GRH trip, the commuter will be mailed a transit reimbursement voucher form. The transit reimbursement voucher must be completed and submitted back to Commuter Connections within thirty days of transit use in order for payment to be made.  Please allow 45 days for reimbursement.  A commuter’s supervisor must sign the transit voucher for any trip granted because of unscheduled overtime in order for the reimbursement to be issued.
      If the GRH trip is made by rental car, the commuter is responsible for signing a standard rental agreement, showing a valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, providing a credit card number for collateral, returning the rental car within a 24-hour period, and the following charges: gasoline refueling charges, taxes, purchase of insurance (if necessary), and additional rental charges if auto is not returned within a 24-hour period (unless Commuter Connections has given prior approval for additional rental time).  The commuter will be responsible for any loss or damage to the rental car.
    12. GRH is a free service provided by Commuter Connections at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).  COG will use its best efforts to provide the Guaranteed Ride Home in accordance with the guidelines shown above.  By requesting assistance from the Guaranteed Ride Home program, the participant in the program explicitly acknowledges that COG assumes no liability for the timeliness of the GRH participating vendor(s) or any accidents that may occur on the conveyance.

01/19/16