Seniors and people with disabilities can access a free ride to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment if they need it.
City officials announced a plan to help people facing transportation barriers get their shot at a news conference Wednesday.
“We know not everyone has access to their own vehicle. We know financial or mobility issues may stop people from taking transit or even taking a ride,” Mayor John Tory said.
The program will be available starting March 29 for seniors over 75, people with disabilities, and people who are immunocompromised who have no other way of getting to a vaccine clinic.
The TTC will provide vouchers to individuals who can’t afford the fare to get to a vaccination site. Wheel-Trans will also reach out to its client base to make sure they know vaccine registration is open.
Uber Canada has also donated $150,000 in ride voucher codes that will be distributed to residents in neighbourhoods with high rates of infection via community organizations starting April 6.
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Although no specific plans were mentioned for taxis, Tory said he’s happy to explore how that industry can help.
“You’ll notice others are community volunteer organizations transporting seniors in non-pandemic times,” he said. “We’re simply making additional money available. They’re largely staffed by volunteers, and [the] money they get is for administration.”
Tory thanked relatives, friends, and neighbours for continuing to assist seniors book and get their shot.
More information on how to book a free ride through the Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan will be available on the City of Toronto’s website. It’s only available to people going from a residence in Toronto to a vaccination clinic that’s also in Toronto.
Tory also mentioned the TTC is setting up a shuttle bus to take all riders from Finch Station to the vaccination site in Mitchell Field Community Centre.