San Diegans can get a free Uber ride home whenever they find themselves stranded with the launch of a new partnership, according to the region's public transportation agency.
The iCommute Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH) program has teamed up with the ride-share company Uber to offer a safety net to commuters in urgent situations, announced the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). To participate, commuters must be enrolled in the GRH program.
"This partnership is the first of its kind between Uber and a West Coast regional governing entity, and we’re thrilled to be part of this, helping to directly address the changing mobility needs of San Diego’s workforce," said Megan Prichard, the Uber southern California regional manager, in a statement.
Those enrolled in the program can call Uber for a free ride home up to three times per year, SANDAG officials said. If facing an emergency situation such as a medical problem, unscheduled overtime or being stuck because their carpool left early, commuters can call Uber for a ride home at no charge.
Uber will subsidize the GRH trips by up to $20,000 per year until June 30, 2022, according to SANDAG.
The program included nearly 1,700 commuters at more than 300 employers across the region in 2017, SANDAG officials said.
“The SANDAG iCommute program is happy to support commuters who make sustainable commute choices by providing a safety net to help them get home in an emergency,” SANDAG Vice Chair and Del Mar Mayor Terry Sinnott said, in a statement. “iCommute and Uber hope that providing a new, convenient choice for Guaranteed Ride Home will encourage more people in the San Diego region to try a new commute.”
This new rides program comes just on the heels of National Rideshare week on Oct. 2 to 6. According to SANDAG, commuters can pledge to go green by selecting a carpool, uberPOOL, vanpool or transit commute.
Commuters can enter to win one of three Fitbits by completing the pledge form on the iCommute website.
SANDAG officials said the goal of the iCommute program is to help reduce traffic jams and greenhouse gas emissions by offering public transportation alternatives.