ITRE’s Public Transportation Group is working closely with the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and local transit providers across the state to plan and implement a COVID-19 vaccine transportation program.
NCDOT and the NC Department of Health and Human Services announced in January 2021 that approximately $2.5 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding is being distributed to the state’s local transit agencies to help pay for rides for individuals who need transportation assistance to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Every North Carolinian has a spot and needs to get their shot,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “As vaccine supply increases, we are deploying every resource to make sure people have access and are not held back by barriers like lack of transportation.”
An initial round of startup funding was provided to every county-based transit agency in the state, ensuring that every community has access to this program. Additional funds will be allocated based on need. The funds can be used to offset costs associated with transit rides to and from vaccination sites for people who are receiving or assisting someone in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare workers and volunteers at vaccine sites are also eligible for this program.
“Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is everybody’s business and every organization has something they can do to help,” said NCDOT Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help get North Carolinians vaccinated as quickly and easily as possible.”
ITRE’s Public Transportation Group is providing support with data analytics and visualization at the statewide level, as well as technical assistance and service planning for local transit providers.
“Drive-up vaccination sites and vaccination clinics located in areas not currently served by transit are a barrier to people who are unable to drive or do not have access to vehicles,” said Kai Monast, director of ITRE’s Public Transportation Group. “The goal of this program is to make it as easy as possible for people who want the vaccine to get the vaccine.”
People who need transportation assistance to a COVID-19 vaccine should reach out to their local transit agency. You can find your local transit agency online at the NCDOT.gov website. Local transit agencies serve all 100 North Carolina counties. Some vaccine locations are providing the vaccine by appointment only. For a list of vaccine providers by county, visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov.
Contact Kai Monast (firstname.lastname@example.org) at ITRE to learn more about this and other Public Transportation Group projects, research, services and training offerings.