California Joins 44 Other States in the Effort
While we’ve all seen the images on the news of long lines of vehicles queued up at convention center and stadium parking lots, it shouldn’t be necessary to own a car or drive to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Now the VaxTransit campaign offers free bus or train rides to vaccination sites via local agencies.
A former senior executive in Silicon Valley and Wall Street, Stewart Mader began working with transit providers, public officials, and policymakers to build better transit that supports healthy, equitable, and resilient communities. He launched VaxTransit in early January 2021, knowing of only 15 transit agencies in the U.S. that were providing free vaccine rides.
His efforts to reach out and coordinate public transit and vaccination centers has led to the involvement of more than 450 agencies across 45 states that now shuttle citizens to get their shot in the arm.
Authorities also offer more than just a ticket to ride. When the pandemic hit and ridership declined, many transit agencies not only began seeing emptier busses and train cars, but transit stations as well. In Covina, for example, Foothill Transit’s new $24 million, three-level bus depot and park-and-ride garage was not getting much use. The transit agency worked with the city and a local grocery chain to turn the ground floor of the parking garage into an open-air COVID-19 vaccination site.
Catch a ride in California
Mader sees these free rides as an investment in the future. “The faster we get people vaccinated, the faster we can get back to normal,” he says.
The following local transit agencies are part of VaxTransit. Click the link to get more information on how to catch your free ride in your community:
- AC Transit
- Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
- Community Partners in Caring
- County Connection
- El Dorado Transit
- El Monte Transportation Division
- Fairfield and Suisun Transit (FAST)
- Fresno Area Express (FAX)
- Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD)
- Golden Gate Transit
- LADOT Transit
- Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA)
- Marin Transit
- Modesto Area Express
- Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST)
- North County Transit District
- Petaluma Transit
- RTA Runabout/Ride-On Transit in San Luis Obispo County
- Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT)
- San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
- San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Authority (SFMTA) Muni & Paratransit
- San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD)
- San Leandro FLEX RIDES
- Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) & ParaCruz
- Santa Rosa CityBus
- Sonoma County Transit
- Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART)
- Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT)
- Tulare County Area Transit (TCAT)
- Turlock Transit
- Vacaville City Coach
- Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
- Victor Valley Transit
- Vine Transit
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