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Beginning Thursday, SamTrans joins a list of Bay Area public transit agencies that provide free rides to vaccination appointments.

Free rides are available to people who either live or work in San Mateo County. Passengers need to inform the bus operator as they board and show proof of a vaccination appointment or vaccine card.

Chair of the SamTrans Board of Directors said in a statement Wednesday:

“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.”

Free paratransit rides are also provided through Redi-Wheels and Redi-Coast for eligible participants traveling to vaccination sites. Passengers need to indicate when trips are for vaccination purposes when making  appointments so staff can alert the driver that fare is not required.

SamTrans is the latest in a string of public transit agencies to offer free rides to vaccination sites.

BART is handing $7 tickets to passengers who have been vaccinated at the Oakland Coliseum site.

Similar to SamTrans, the SFMTA on Tuesday began providing free Muni rides to vaccination sites with proof of a vaccination appointment.

VTA announced Wednesday they would provide free transit service to Santa Clara County vaccination sites and have set up an interactive map to help passengers navigate vaccination sites either by bus or light rail.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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