RTA to Provide Free All Day Passes for Covid Vaccine Appointments

click to enlarge No need to pay fares if you're traveling to get your vaccine. - Sam Allard / Scene
Sam Allard / Scene
No need to pay fares if you're traveling to get your vaccine.

Thanks to a nearly $800,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will provide free rides to the Wolstein Center and other Covid-19 vaccination sites across the region.

In an announcement Monday, RTA said that it was teaming up with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to provide hundreds of all day passes from March 17 through May 8, with plans to distribute them at social service agencies and community centers.

RTA is not distributing the passes directly, but those who sign up for a vaccine appointment can then call United Way's 2-1-1 line to get their passes. (An All Day pass, good for unlimited bus and rapid transit travel, retails for $5.) 

Cleveland State University's Wolstein Center was announced earlier this month as a mass vaccination site. It will administer up to 6,000 doses per day over eight weeks, beginning on St. Patrick's Day. One of the reasons that the state of Ohio selected the Wolstein Center was because of its proximity to high-risk populations and its accessibility by public transit.

“RTA has ample service to the Wolstein Center, every day and all day. With more than 50+ bus routes and three rail lines, RTA makes it easy for customers to get to many of the vaccination centers across the county,” said RTA’s CEO and General Manger, India Birdsong, in a press release. "We are pleased to work in concert with Cuyahoga County and City of Cleveland to distribute All Day passes to anyone who makes an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination during the promotional period."

ODOT's grant is also allowing for additional Paratransit service and a shuttle operating every 15 minutes from the parking lots south of the Wolstein Center. The grant is part of ODOT's "Rides to Community Immunity" program.

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