Most employees cite fear of an emergency as the number one reason for not ridesharing. Sometimes the unexpected happens: you or a family member becomes ill, or you have unscheduled overtime. How will you get home? What should you do if you are in an accident while riding on a vanpool or if the van breaks down? If there should be a natural disaster like an earthquake, what are some important things that you and every motorist should have in your vehicles?
Commuter Services understands your concerns and we have provided some valuable information to help ease your mind.
Guaranteed Emergency Transportation (GET)
Fortunately, the Guaranteed Emergency Transportation (GET) program has you covered if you rideshare on a day that an emergency occurs. Here is the breakdown of information you will need to know:
What is considered a true emergency that qualifies for GET?
- Unexpected overtime or unanticipated change in work schedule
- Family emergency
- Illness (self or family)
If your emergency is not due to overtime, then you must receive permission from your supervisor to leave work early – Commuter Services cannot excuse you from work.
Here are some examples of situations that are not covered under GET?
- Pre-scheduled appointments (Doctor and otherwise)
- Inclement weather
- Personal errands
- Pre-scheduled overtime
- Business travel
How does it work?
GET will only be considered after all other options have been exhausted. Commuter Services will want to know if the following transportation methods have been considered before the Guaranteed Ride Home option can be used to get you to your home or vehicle location:
- Is a friend or family member available to provide transportation?
- Is your supervisor willing to allow a co-worker to provide you a lift?
- Does your department have a County vehicle that you can borrow?
- Will your department authorize you to borrow a car from Motor Pool at your department's expense?
If none of the above options will work, the next step will be for you to call Commuter Services at (909) 387-9639 or (909) 387-9640.
The transportation mode is determined by the one-way distance of the ride to your vehicle location or to your home.
30 miles or less
If your one-way ride is 30 miles or less, then a taxi ride will be provided. Please note that taxi service may not be available in all areas or at all times.
More than 30 miles
If the one-way distance of the ride needed is greater than 30 miles, a rental car is provided. The commuter must:
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Have a valid Driver License and a credit card for the required security deposit
- Be able to drive
The car must be returned to the rental car agency the same day before 6:00 p.m. near the commuter's home location, or by 9:30 a.m. the next day to the originating office. Please note that a rental car may not be available in all areas or at all times.
Emergencies While Carpooling
Stay in Touch
It's always a good idea to keep emergency contact information for each member of your carpool. A list, which includes each carpool participant's name, address, home phone, and work phone, and the contact information for a close family member may come in handy in case of an emergency.
Have a Back-Up Plan
When emergencies like freeway closures or transit disruptions happen, it's good to have a back-up plan already in place. Commuter Services can be a valuable resource to you during an emergency situation such as these. Used in conjunction with the many features that are available on www.ie511.org
, Commuter Services can help you prepare your transportation back-up plan.
Inland Empire 511 or www.ie511.org provides up to the minute information on road construction, incidents, freeway closures and other road conditions. With strategically positioned cameras, commuters have the ability to see traffic conditions on their route home in real time, giving you plenty of time to adjust your route or make other arrangements.
Car won't start? Need a lift to work? During an emergency situation, many commuters are affected and are looking for carpool partners/carpools to join. Be proactive, register on Ridematch at https://www.ridematch.info/service.asp today and get a matchlist of people who live and work near you who you can possibly share a ride with in the event of an emergency. Don't wait until the evening before you need a ride to sign up and call the people on your Matchlist. Reach out to potential carpoolers ahead of time to work out a plan.
Add Riders to Your Existing Carpool
Ask your friends, neighbors or co-workers if they would like to join your carpool in the event of an emergency. That "emergency rider" might be a good fit if/when a permanent position becomes available and your carpooling is looking for a permanent member.
Contact the emergency rider in advance to offer a ride in case of an emergency.
Join a Vanpool
Many vanpools have established long-term arrangements, but may have one or two seats available at any given time. In the event of an emergency, these vanpools would welcome a temporary rider to help lower some of their costs. A list of vanpools with available seats can be found using Vanpool Availability.
Commuter Services offers Occasional Rider Books to allow individuals who may wish to occasionally ride in a vanpool an opportunity to do so. Individual rates are based on the same factors and mileage tables as for groups. Occasional Rider rates may be purchased in 10-trip (5-round trip) packets are available to employees in the event of an emergency.
Transit as an Emergency Transportation Option
In an emergency situation, like a roadway or bridge closure, transit may be the best or only option. Don't wait until the emergency happens to learn what your transit options are for your commute visit www.ie511.org for the latest on alternate transit routes, additional transit service, relocated transit stops and shuttle information. Many transit stops may be relocated during an emergency.
CARPOOLING DURING A NATURAL DISASTER
It's important to ensure that you are prepared in the event of an emergency situation. Most people are familiar with the techniques of responding to an earthquake while indoors, but how should we respond if one occurs while driving? Here are some tips, provided by the Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA), to prepare motorists for driving during an earthquake.
If an earthquake occurs while you are driving:
- Gradually decrease speed and, when it is safe, pull over to the side of the road.
- If driving on the freeway, exit at the first safe opportunity.
- Stop the car, keep your seat belt fastened and remain in your car until the shaking stops. Do not stop on or under overpasses or bridges and avoid parking near trees, downed power lines and buildings (keep in mind that aftershocks may follow the initial earthquake).
- Most radio stations are prepared to broadcast emergency information so tune in to your car radio and listen for advisories.
- Do not drive until it is safe and always cooperate with public safety officers because they are trying to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
Be prepared by stocking the following items in your vehicle:
- A fully equipped first aid kit and manual (comprehensive)
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable foods
- Blanket or sleeping bag
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulb
- Fire extinguisher (CO2)
- Pocket radio with extra batteries
- Tissues and pre-moistened towels
- Tools (screwdriver, pliers, wire, pocket knife, can opener and duct tape)
- Extra clothes and sturdy shoes
- Short rubber hose for siphoning
- Sealable plastic bags
- Local maps
- Prescription medicines
Motorists should keep their vehicle's gas tank at least half-full at all times, and should not carry spare gas in the trunk. Though earthquakes cannot be avoided, these safety resources may help you survive and limit the possibility of injury. For more driving safety information during and after an earthquake, contact the California Highway Patrol, regional state offices of Emergency Services, the Southern California Earthquake Preparedness Project and the American Red Cross.
Emergencies While Vanpooling
|Vanpooling During Extreme Weather Conditions
In the event of unusual or extreme weather circumstance, vanpools may elect to stay in the local area overnight. Vanpools electing to stay in the local area are authorized to drive the vans within a 30 mile radius. All the standard vanpool policy procedures for safety and care will be adhered to and each vanpool group must agree as to where individuals may be dropped off and picked up. With the approval of the department’s appointing authority, vanpoolers may be authorized to use department vehicles in which case, the 30 mile radius will still apply.
As with any employee in this situation, the County will not be responsible or accountable for lodging or incidental costs such as meals incurred due to the current weather circumstance. Under these circumstances the vanpool should base decisions on what most benefits the group as a whole. Any other inclement weather arrangements such as a rental car will be made independent of the County’s involvement, guidelines, or said jurisdiction as stated in Vanpool Policy.
In the event of an accident or vandalism,thePrimaryDriver is required to:
- Immediately notify the local law enforcement agency.
- For accidents, quickly attempt to obtain names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident and note vehicle registration numbers of potential witnesses. If you are not injured, proceed to work, home or other non-accident location. Once you have arrived, notify VPSI at(866) 278-6335 and give the location of the vehicle and the extentof the damage (if applicable).
- Only give information or sign papers required by law–driver’s license, vehicle registration, and personal identification.Do not sign any other papers for anyone except those persons representing VPSI.
- If repairs are necessary, and if the vehicle can be driven safely, take it to the nearest service center approved by VPSI.
- Park the vehicle in a non-hazardous location.
- Promptly notify VPSI and provide the location and nature of the breakdown. If the vehicle is safe to drive, take it directly to the nearest service center approved by VPSI.
- If a vehicle cannot be immediately repaired, a loaner vehicle shall be provided until the vehicle can be repaired, at which time the loaner vehicle shall be surrendered.
Emergency Contact Information
Andrea Navarrette (909) 387-9639
Stephanie Ripple (909) 387-9640
Fax (909) 387-9641
Employee Benefits Front Desk (909) 387-5787
Vanpool van pick-up, including loaner van reservations while yours is being maintained
Motor Pool at (909) 387-7871 / (909) 387-8254
For maintenance or breakdowns
Fleet Management Auto Shop (909) 387-7851
Fuel & Security, including the after business hours line
24-hour line (909) 387-7855