Beginning this Thursday, SamTrans will provide free bus rides on existing service to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination sites for people living or working within San Mateo County.
Since the onset of the pandemic, SamTrans has helped ensure essential workers and transit-dependent riders can remain mobile and get where they need to go, including providing free fares to individuals for most of 2020.
For people interested in the free bus ride, passengers going to a vaccination site must let the bus operator know as soon as they board the bus and show proof of the vaccine appointment or a vaccination card. Fare payment to vaccination sites will not be required until further notice. Redi-Wheels and Redi-Coast paratransit services will also offer eligible participants free rides to and from vaccination sites. Riders need to indicate while booking their reservation that the trip is for the purpose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Staff will then alert the driver that the rider is not required to pay the fare.
“As a public agency, it is important to provide our communities with transit-friendly options to vaccination sites that will help ensure equitable access in San Mateo County, especially for vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Charles Stone, Chair of the SamTrans Board of Directors.
Bay Area transit agencies are making a coordinated effort to keep essential transportation services available to the communities we serve through the Bay Area Healthy Transit Plan. Many systems, including AC Transit, BART, SFMTA and VTA, are offering free rides to vaccine distribution sites to ensure those without a car or those who need mobility assistance can easily access the locations. The regional Healthy Transit Plan outlines action items for frequent cleaning, personal protective equipment, face coverings, social distancing, ventilation, and touchless fares in order to keep transit safe for all Bay Area residents and transit employees.
SamTrans would like to recognize the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1574, representing our front line bus operators, for continuing to help us provide support to our local communities during this pandemic.