Uber to Offer Free, Discounted Rides to Vaccine Sites

The ride-share will be offering up to 20,000 free or discounted rides to New Orleans residents with appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as part of a partnership with the city and a number of other local organizations.

(TNS) — New Orleans residents who need transportation to their coronavirus vaccination appointment can now get a free or discounted ride from Uber.

The program will provide up to 20,000 rides to residents through a partnership with the city, the Orleans Parish Communications District, LCMC Health, the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Urban League of Louisiana.
"This ride donation will remove transportation barriers that could potentially prevent residents from accessing the life-saving vaccines and we know that the vaccine is our way out of the pandemic," Laura Mellem, public engagement manager for New Orleans' Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Those looking to take advantage of the offer can get a code in the Uber app to get four $35 credits for rides between any location in New Orleans and a vaccination site. Those that don't have the app can call 311 to schedule a ride.
"We know that the low-income and elderly have added transportation barriers that may prevent them from getting a vaccine," said Uber spokesperson Trevor Theunissen, adding that the ride-hailing company aims to "help make the largest-ever global immunization campaign a success and deliver the benefits of the vaccine quickly, effectively and also equitably."
The 311 center is also scheduling vaccination appointments at community locations and adding people to a vaccination waitlist. Vaccinations at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which is being run as a mass vaccination site by LCMC, can be scheduled by calling (504) 290-5200.
The 311 system currently has 33,000 individuals registered for vaccines, Orleans Parish Communications Director Tyrell Morris said.
"Be mindful, the free rides are a limited supply so we do ask that if you have the ability to get to a vaccination site on your own you save this for those who need it the most," Morris said. Alternatively, the Regional Transit Authority runs free shuttle buses to the Convention Center. Those shuttles depart every 15 minutes from Duncan Plaza and every 45 minutes from the Park and Ride on the west bank and from the Walmart in New Orleans East.
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