City of Toronto and partners announce Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan

Today, the City of Toronto announced the Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan, a multi-faceted plan to help ensure vulnerable residents and seniors can access COVID-19 vaccinations by removing barriers to transportation and making it easier to travel to clinics.

This program is intended for those who have limited transportation options or who cannot afford transportation to vaccination appointments. Starting March 29, the City is piloting transportation options for seniors aged 75 years old and over by extending service hours for assisted ride services provided by community organizations.

The City has already been working with multiple partners to plan and deliver this program, including Toronto Ride, iRide, Scarborough Ride, Ontario Health Partners, Uber Canada and the TTC, to help transport vulnerable residents to and from appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Under the Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan, planning and discussions with these partners will continue to expand services over the coming weeks when service capacity at vaccine clinics is increased to include people with disabilities, seniors under 75 years old and others who are frail or have underlying conditions which make them at greater risk from COVID-19 and/or unable to safely access other modes of public transportation.

The City thanks Torontonians who are helping their family members, friends and neighbours with booking their vaccination appointments and providing a ride to their appointments, if possible. The Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan will help ensure the limited community resources are available to those who need it most.

The City is providing funding to Toronto Ride, iRide and Scarborough Ride to provide assisted transportation to eligible Toronto seniors, adults with disabilities and adults who are immune-compromised, to and from vaccination appointments within the city of Toronto. These ride programs deliver their service through a collaborative network of City and Ministry of Health funded Community Support Agencies. This program is available now for limited appointments, but will continue to be expanded over the coming weeks as additional resources and capacity become available.

To book a ride contact:

Uber Canada 

Uber Canada has confirmed a donation of $150,000 in the form of voucher codes for individual rides. Starting April 6, these vouchers will be distributed to a network of partner community organizations to provide to people who have no transportation options, live in communities with high rates of COVID-19, who have challenges travelling to be vaccinated, as well as for some people with disabilities.

TTC

The TTC is working with the City to distribute 15,000 TTC ride vouchers through a network of partner community agencies across Toronto to provide to people who cannot afford transit fare, with no-cost rides to and from vaccination sites starting in April. The TTC is also finalizing plans for shuttle bus service from Finch station to the City-run clinic at Mitchell Field Arena starting on March 29 for the clinic opening. The shuttle buses will run every 30 minutes for an initial three-week trial period.

People who receive social assistance may be eligible for medical transportation funds to help cover costs of travel to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Social assistance recipients should contact their caseworker to access transportation funds they may be eligible for.

These services have been made available through generous donations from organizations, partners and the community. Donations can be made to sponsor a ride to a vaccine clinic for Toronto’s most vulnerable residents through Toronto’s donation portal, DonateTO www.toronto.ca/business-economy/partnerships-sponsorships-donations/donate/

Quotes:

"As we’ve said from the beginning, we want everyone who wants a vaccine to be able to get one. We are doing everything we can as a City government to get as many people vaccinated as supply allows. With this plan, we are working with a variety of community partners to help people who need transportation support get safely to their vaccine appointment and back home. As more vaccines become available and more vaccination clinics open, it is City programs like this one that will help to remove barriers for some of our more vulnerable residents." - Toronto Mayor John Tory

“The City's close partnerships with community agencies and organizations are enabling us to join forces to serve vulnerable people in our communities during an unprecedented time of crisis. The City is committed to strengthening and growing our relationships with these valued partners as we turn the corner on the pandemic and begin to build back stronger.”

- Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“The TTC is an integral support for people across Toronto and a key transportation mode for accessing supports and programs. Additional transportation vouchers and shuttle services will help to reduce barriers to reaching our clinics and accessing COVID-19 vaccinations.”

- Councillor Jaye Robinson (Don Valley West), Chair of the TTC Board

"At the City of Toronto, we are committed to ensuring that every resident in every area of in this city can easily access a COVID-19 vaccine when it's their turn. To make this possible, we have adopted a Team Toronto approach that builds on partnerships and active collaborations and delivers on-the-ground support. The Vaccine Equity Transportation Plan is a great example of working together to help our community and remove barriers to accessing vaccines.”

- Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health

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