Free rides will be available for some in San Francisco. Here’s the catch

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – The city of San Francisco will begin providing free roundtrip rides on public transit for people going to COVID-19 vaccine appointments, Mayor London Breed said on Friday.

In an effort to make getting the vaccine more convenient, starting on Tuesday residents traveling to a vaccine appointment can hop a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency bus.

Riders heading to any vaccine site, including sites outside the city, can simply show their appointment confirmation, whether it’s an email or photo, or vaccine card as proof of payment, city officials said.

“In addition to reaching our most vulnerable people with a combination of mobile vaccination teams, neighborhood sites, and community clinics, we want to make it as convenient as possible for people throughout San Francisco to get to our high-volume vaccination sites,” Breed said in a statement. 

Getting residents vaccinated is the city’s highest priority, said SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin said. 

“By allowing free Muni access to and from all vaccination sites, we are eliminating transportation and cost barriers from receiving this life-changing vaccine,” Tumlin said.

In addition to the free trips, the city and Muni are increasing the amount of service available for Essential Trip Card holders by $60. The ETC program serves those 65 and older, people with disabilities, and those with health conditions or mobility issues, providing discounts on taxi rides to and from essential trips during the pandemic.

Although vaccine supplies remain limited, the city and its health care provider partners have created a network of vaccine sites throughout the city, including three new mass vaccination sites. The city, however, remains in the first phase of the state’s vaccination plan, with just seniors and health care workers receiving the vaccine for now.

Those eligible can go to www.sf.gov/getvaccinated to make an appointment. Also, those interested in notifications about eligibility can go to www.sf.gov/vaccinenotify.

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