Backup Ride Home

The Backup Ride Home program provides peace of mind for commuters who travel to work without a personal vehicle. Local Ithaca Carshare on-call staff will facilitate alternate transportation home for you if something unexpectedly happens in the middle of a work day that makes your original travel plan unfeasible. The cost of your trip will be covered by the Backup Ride Home program.

Who can use it?

Anyone commuting into the Urbanized Ithaca Area is welcome to enroll in Backup Ride Home using this form, which is also at the bottom of this page. Once you have enrolled, you can use up to four Backup Rides per year (from the date you first enroll).

When can I use it?

You can use a Backup Ride Home only on days when your commute plan doesn’t include driving alone. Eligible travel modes include:

  • TCAT bus

  • Carpool/rideshare

  • Bicycle

  • Walking

  • Any other way you can travel that isn’t driving alone!

Backup Ride Home can only be used in situations where you must unexpectedly work late, leave work early, or when your planned transportation at the end of the workday is unexpectedly unavailable. Example scenarios include:

  • You or a family member becomes sick

  • Emergency at home such as fire, flood, or pet emergency

  • You are required to work unscheduled overtime

  • Urgent issue at a child’s school or daycare requires you to be there

  • Your planned bus does not arrive, and there is not an alternate bus you can take

  • Your carpool vehicle breaks down, or any of the above mean than your carpool driver cannot bring you home

The Backup Ride Home program is intended to support commuters who travel by modes other than driving alone. It does not cover personal vehicle failures or poor road conditions when you drive alone.

How will I get home?

Our staff will ask about your situation and help you identify ride options that work for your trip. Options may include:

  • A ride with an eligible taxicab or ridehail company

  • Ithaca Carshare members may get a Carshare car to take home overnight

  • TCAT may be a solution for bikers, walkers, or carpoolers

How do I request a Backup Ride Home?

Call 607-319-3888, and you will be directed to local Ithaca Carshare staff who will confirm:

  1. That you are currently enrolled in the program

  2. That you traveled to work that day by a qualifying mode

  3. That you have not already used up your four Backup Ride Home trips for the year.

We’ll help you troubleshoot the situation and offer transportation choices to you. Ithaca Carshare staff can request the ride directly with the eligible provider of your choice, or you may coordinate your own ride with Carshare staff participating only to approve the ride to be billed to the Backup Ride Home program.

Can I go anywhere other than home?

Trips by taxi or ridehail service may include up to one stop with a short wait time (10 minutes or less), such as to a child’s school or to a pharmacy, before your final destination. In addition to your home, you can also get dropped off other places like:

  • Your vehicle at a park and ride

  • A child’s school or daycare

  • A medical facility where a family member is receiving care

  • A destination that lets you complete your trip with a friend or family member

Your pickup (work) location must be within the Ithaca urbanized area. Your destination can be outside of this area, but the program will pay a maximum of $70 for any trip.

How do I enroll? It’s easy!

To use the program, all you need to do is:

  1. Enroll in the program using the form below

  2. Commute to work via bus, carpool, bike or foot

  3. Call 607-319-3888 if something happens and you need a ride!

If you are not already an Ithaca Carshare member, consider joining with a Just In Case membership. Taking this step means accessing the Carshare fleet in a Backup Ride Home situation will be an option for you, and also gives you an ongoing option for things like mid-day errands, meetings or appointments that may come up during the work day.

Scroll the embedded form below to complete all the required fields, or click here to view the form on its own page.