A common question. First of all, if it is a true emergency (that is, life or death, medical, fire, etc.) you should call 911. That is what it is for. If it is an “emergency” and you are …
… at home, plan ahead. Get to know your neighbors. If your neighbors are good people, which, especially in Corvallis, they probably are, they will drive you or lend you their car in case of an emergency. And they won’t even be smug about it and say that the only way you can get away without owning a car is by using theirs. Or they shouldn’t be. Baked goods, beer, flowers — they all make great thank you notions. Or you could be helpful in other ways in return. If your neighbors aren’t around or you haven’t met them yet, call a cab.
… at work and your workplace is part of the Transportation Options program, then you are eligible for an Emergency Ride Home (or Child’s School or Medical Center). This also requires some planning ahead as it works by giving you taxi vouchers that you can use in just such a situation. If you didn’t plan ahead, ask a colleague for help. If your workplace is not part of Transportation Options, they can easily become so by establishing an Employee Transportation Coordinator — maybe that person will be you. Any workplace, no matter how big or small, is eligible.
… elsewhere. Call a cab. They seem pricey in this small town, but think of all the other savings you are keeping by not owning a car. The average yearly cost of car ownership and operation is over $9000! So even a $50 cab ride is a drop in the bucket. If its within town, its much more likely to be under $20 though.