SEATTLE — Public transit options will accommodate the growing number of adults in Washington who will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming weeks. Some of the options will be free.
Pierce Transit is now providing free bus rides for passengers traveling to a vaccine appointment location along its bus route.
Passengers should be able to show they are heading to or from a vaccine appointment via print, email, text or verbal confirmation, according to Pierce Transit.
Sound Transit has already been offering free Link light rail service for passengers traveling to their vaccine appointment.
"This is open to actually any vaccination along light rail, so it's your pharmacy, it's your medical system, wherever you could get your vaccine, the day of your appointment, Link is free to you," said Sound Transit Public Information Officer John Gallagher.
Sound Transit Link light rail fares usually are based on distance and range from $2.25 to $3.25.
For many, booking a vaccine appointment is only half the battle. The other half is getting to the appointment.
"It's just so essential for the people we're providing rides for," said Hollianne Monson, program director of volunteer services for Catholic Community Services.
The organization helps adults 60 years or older and adults with disabilities with various services that allow them to live independently in their own homes. Services include help with yard work, housework, and certain transportation like trips to the grocery store and doctor's appointments. In recent months, providing rides for high-risk individuals who do not have the means to drive has become a growing need.
Monson said the ride service relies on their volunteer pool.
"In King County, we have somewhere around 75 drivers," said Monson. "We could definitely do with at least double that."
King County Metro does not offer free fares for passengers traveling to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment, but it does offer reduced fares for seniors, people with disabilities, youth and people with low incomes.
The Metro system also provides a variety of app-based, on-demand ride services for people who need additional transportation from a light rail stop.
This option has services specifically connecting the Othello and Rainier Beach areas, as well as Juanita, Sammamish and Tukwila.
For a complete look at ride options throughout Puget Sound, visit https://www.findaride.org/covid