Emergency Ride Home Program

Emergency Ride Home (ERH) is a supporting service designed for UW employees who choose an alternative to driving alone to campus. In an emergency, employees may use a pre-printed voucher or pre-requested code to cover the cost of the cab ride home. ERH is intended as a safety net so those who choose not to drive to campus do not worry about being stranded in an emergency. ERH is available 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Any employees who do not drive to work–including people who vanpool, carpool, bus, bike, walk and/or use a park and ride–are eligible for the Emergency Ride Home program.

Use and Restrictions

Appropriate requests for ERH:

  • Employee gets sick while at work
  • Employee’s family member becomes sick or injured while employee is at work
  • A personal crisis occurs (e.g. death in the family, extensive property damage or loss, etc.)

Inappropriate requests for ERH:

  • Employee needs to run personal errands
  • Employee needs transportation from events that are planned in advance, such as after-hours meetings
  • A school cancellation/closing occurs (in most cases)
  • Employee’s vehicle breaks down
  • Employee has to work overtime
  • In general, any situation of which there was prior knowledge

Transportation Services reserves the right to review a request to determine emergency status. We have no control over the response time of a cab or fleet vehicle; customers should confirm these details when they request the service.


ERH can be used up to three times every six months. Overuse/abuse of ERH may endanger this program, so requests will be carefully reviewed by Transportation Services. We reserve the right to rule requests for rides inappropriate regardless of any prior judgments.

See the emergency ride home policy for full process details and restrictions.

How to Use an Emergency Ride Home

Public Health Safety Protocols

Each company has enacted safety protocols to keep their employees and riders healthy and safe. At a minimum, companies will follow Dane County public health guidance and may have additional safeguards in place. Please see the respective company’s website for more details on their safety plans.

Since you must present a ERH voucher (PDF) to the cab driver in order to use the ERH service, we highly recommend printing out a voucher now and keeping it at your desk (or other easily accessible location). This way you will not need to go online and print the voucher when you’re in a hurry due to the emergency situation. UW Transportation Services cannot refund cab fare paid by an employee directly.

  1. View/Print Emergency Ride Home Voucher (PDF)
  2. Request a taxi by calling Union Cab at (608) 242-2000 or order a Union Cab online; be sure to inform them you are requesting a UW Emergency Ride Home. (Please note: UW’s ERH is not currently available with other cab companies.)
  3. Present a completed voucher to the cab driver at the time of the ride. Do not pay for the ride, you will not be reimbursed. Any gratuity fee is the responsibility of the rider.

Transportation Services reserves the right to review a request to determine emergency status. Ineligible requests for an emergency ride home will be denied and the cab fare will be the responsibility of the user.

UW–Madison Transportation Services has partnered with Lyft, a ridesharing company, to support the Emergency Ride Home program. You will need to set up an account with Lyft to use this option.

  1. Lyft Emergency Ride Home – Registration Form
    • Note: by signing up through the Lyft ERH form you are agreeing to the restrictions of the ERH program as outlined on this webpage.
  2. A limited use ride code will be available to you once you have submitted the registration form.
    • Each code is only good for three uses in a six month span. You must complete the registration form again after three code uses, at which point you will receive a new code.
    • If you do not have a Lyft account yet, be sure to download the Lyft app and create an account. Lyft account creation instructions
  3. Use the ride code when you need an ERH. Do not pay for the ride, you will not be reimbursed. Any gratuity fee is the responsibility of the rider.
    • If you requested the code a while ago and it does not work, it may have expired. Please submit the form again to get a new code.

Tips for riding with Lyft

  • Verify your ride by making sure the license plate number, driver information, and car make and model match what you see in the app.
  • Ask the driver to say who they are picking up.
  • Share your location and route with a friend or loved one form within the Lyft app. They can follow your ride in real time.
  • Follow the Lyft vehicle on GPS via the app.
  • Learn more about how to ride safely with Lyft