Yolobus offers free transit to COVID-19 vaccination appointments

Yolobus offers free transit to COVID-19 vaccination appointments

Anyone can ride for free with proof of a vaccination appointment from March 1 to June 30

Yolobus is offering free transit rides for people going to COVID-19 vaccination appointments from March 1 to June 30, as stated in its official press release

Deputy Director of Yolo County Transportation District Jose Perez explained that this program is open to the general public, not just Yolo county residents. 

“There’s no real limitation as to who can access it,” Perez said. “We don’t have age requirements or income requirements. You just need to show proof of an appointment, a vaccination card or schedule to be able to use our services to get to those appointments.”

Perez  listed other examples of proof, including an employment card from a health provider, an email showing a scheduled appointment or any other piece of evidence of an appointment on the day of travel. 

Executive Director of Yolo County Transportation District Terry Bassett explained that this program was enacted to make transportation to vaccine appointments more accessible to the public. 

“We believe that it was in the best interest of the public that we serve to make this offer,” Bassett said. “We did not want the issue of affordability, of getting to and from their vaccinations to prevent residents in Yolo County from gaining access to their shots.”

Perez added that ensuring mobility and access were key goals in the creation of this program. 

“This program is very much in line with our district priorities of ensuring mobility and access for our communities,” Perez said. “We wanted to make sure that, especially right now during these unprecedented times, we’re able to support our neighbors, our friends and our families in helping essential travel throughout the region.” 

Benjamin Tran, a third-year materials science and engineering major, recently received a COVID-19 vaccine on March 5 and underscored the importance of broadly advertising the program. 

“I think that it would have to be advertised more if people want that service to be taken advantage of,” Tran said. “As long as they get the word out to people, I think it could be really good for the community.”

Perez commented on the intended impact of this program on the community. 

“Ideally, we feel that it’s going to be an improvement in the overall health and safety of our community,” Perez said. “We wouldn’t be doing this if we thought it would hurt in any way. We have maintained significant precautions and safety considerations on-board of our vehicles.”

Perez further explained that these safety precautions included installing physical barriers between the drivers and passengers, limiting the number of persons aboard the vehicle to help maintain social distancing and installing hand sanitizing units inside all of the vehicles.

Tran provided his thoughts regarding the impact of this program on the community. 

“It would be really helpful—not only for students but other people living in Davis—to make it more convenient for people to get the vaccine,” Tran said. 

Bassett commented on the importance of removing barriers to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We believe the COVID vaccine is extremely important,” Bassett said. “We have a lot of people that rely on public transportation, and we want to make certain that they are protected to the maximum extent possible by going and getting their COVID vaccinations.”

Perez reflected on the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We are very well aware of the impacts COVID-19 has had on our communities, on our neighbors, our friends and family,” Perez said. “We’re cognizant of the health and safety risks throughout this pandemic and we are happy to do whatever we can to help get us past this—including trips and travel to vaccinations.”

Perez left a final note about Yolobus’ commitment to keeping people safe.

“Our primary interest is making sure that everybody is safe, both our customers and our operators,” Perez said. “Anything that we can do to help ensure that safety and improve the health and quality of life for our communities, Yolobus is there and ready and willing to help do so.” 

Written by: Jelena Lapuz city@theaggie.org