PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Free transportation is now available for Rhode Islanders traveling to and from their COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Beginning Monday, passengers with vaccine appointments can contact Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s (RIPTA) customer service team by calling (401) 781-9400 or emailing CustomerService@RIPTA.com, and provide vaccination appointment information.
Once an appointment is confirmed, people should check RIPTA’s website and use the “Trip Planner” tool to see which route will work best. This program is for existing bus routes only, and people will be dropped off at the bus stop closest to their vaccination site.
“We know that for many Rhode Islanders transportation is a consistent barrier to accessing a COVID-19 vaccine,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “Many of our state’s vaccination sites are already accessible by RIPTA bus service. I hope that no-cost trips will enable everyone who wants to get to a vaccine clinic to get there easily.”
People with existing WAVE smart cards will have $8 added to their account. If someone doesn’t have a card, they will be mailed a preloaded WAVE card with an $8 value on it.
Facebook also launched a new tool Monday to help Rhode Islanders find and schedule a vaccine appointment.
The social media platform sent an alert to Rhode Islanders’ newsfeeds Monday regarding the change in vaccine eligibility in the state. The alert then connects users to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website to book an appointment.