Call to Action: The Transit Industry Can Help Accelerate Vaccinations

By Administrator Nuria Fernandez

Transit workers flex their arm muscles, posing in front of a bus repurposed as a mobile vaccine clinic

More than 1,000 transit agencies across the country are helping people get access to COVID-19 vaccines, answering President Biden’s call to get as many U.S. adults vaccinated as soon as possible.

Map of transit agencies providing vaccination access services

To our transit partners, I would like to say, thank you! Your commitment to the health of our communities means many more people getting shots, which is the best way to protect our health and be able to gather safely with friends and family after a challenging year.

Many transit systems have provided or are providing free transportation to vaccination sites or use transit stations and facilities as vaccination sites. Some have converted buses into mobile clinics. Several have focused on improving access in areas with low vaccination rates.

To every transit agency helping this effort: Please continue to provide free rides and partner with local health agencies and others to accelerate vaccinations in your communities. It is our best strategy to beat the virus.

To support this work, many transit agencies are using funding from the American Rescue Plan, which President Biden signed into law in early March.

Here are just a few examples:

In Minnesota, mobile vaccine units in retrofitted Metro Transit buses are helping expand vaccine access statewide.

The mobile vaccination units are part of a targeted vaccine distribution strategy using state demographic, vaccination and testing data, and input from trusted community partners, to offer vaccines to people who may lack access due to transportation, technology and geography.

Albany’s Capital District Transportation Authority partnered with Rensselaer County on a brightly wrapped VaxBus that will travel around the upstate New York county all summer, administering vaccinations at concerts, events & other locations.

In Ohio, to increase access to vaccines, Butler County General Health District partnered with the Rapid Transit Authority to create a vaccination bus that provides shots throughout the primarily rural community.

And Washington State Ferries partnered with a local health care provider to offer COVID-19 vaccines on board. The agency ran a floating vaccination clinic on its Seattle-Bremerton route in May and June.

Yet, more can be done. With help from American Rescue Plan grants, all federally supported agencies can cover expenses for vaccination access and provide services that make it possible for their workforces to get their shots — making this a true summer of recovery.

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The official publication of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Publishing fun and informative pieces from transportation leaders, agencies, and stakeholders.

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