A growing number of Michigan public transit agencies have joined to give marginalized populations free or low-fare rides to confirmed COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
The 83 agencies, including those in Saginaw, Flint, and Claire; hope to help educate communities that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Called “Ride to your dose of hope,” the program aims to help achieve vaccine equity by transporting people to participating vaccination sites and scheduled vaccine appointments with a focus on the homebound, disabled, unsheltered, unemployed, low-income, seniors and communities of color.
In some instances, certain vehicles will also be equipped as mobile vaccine units that can transport vaccines to people.
Some systems will also implement bus wrap signage, social media content, and other communication tools to help riders and communities understand that all three currently approved adult-use vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are safe and effective in preventing COVID-related hospitalization and death, according to public health experts and thousands of clinical trial participants.
Individuals who need transportation are urged to call their local transit system at least 24 hours in advance of a confirmed vaccination appointment to determine if a free or low-fare ride is available.
The following transit systems (as of April 2nd) have indicated that they are participating in Ride to Your Dose of Hope and/or have already been providing free or low-fare rides to vaccinations.
Allegan County Transit – Allegan
Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority – Washtenaw County
Barry County Transit – Hastings
Capital Area Transportation Authority – Ingham County
Clare County Transit – Harrison
Clinton Transit – St. Johns/Clinton County
Eatran – Charlotte/Eaton County
The Rapid – Grand Rapids
Ionia Dial A Ride – Ionia
Livingston Essential Transportation Services – Howell
Lake Erie Transit – Monroe
MTA – Flint
Marquette Transportation Authority – Marquette
Michigan Transportation Connection – covering 30 counties across the state, including all counties in the Upper Peninsula
Niles Dial A Ride
SMART – Southeast Michigan (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb counties)
STARS – Saginaw