Transit service in Fresno helping send people to COVID vaccination sites

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Buses operated by the Economic Opportunities Commission now have a new stop on their route.

As vaccination efforts continue in the Central Valley, the EOC is shuttling those eligible for the shot, to vaccination sites.

Among this group are those ages 65 and older and vulnerable populations.

"Due to their personal resources, they are unable to have transportation," said Tom Francis, Transit Systems Route Operations Specialist

Francis said at the moment, they are working with agencies they're partnered with in the past.

Those partnerships include the Central Valley Regional Center and United Cerebral Palsy of Central California.

They also have a contract through Fresno County, providing transportation for three equity projects: Immigrants and Refugees Coalition, African American Coalition and Disability Equity Project.

Francis is hopeful EOC will be able to expand the program as more funding becomes available.

"Right now, we are exploring opportunities to provide transportation to the general public for COVID-19 vaccinations," he said.

Susan Bussean with the Fresno, Madera Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program said the service has the potential to help many in need of transportation.

"Many of them have missed the opportunity to get their second shot, some even their first shot because their arrival date did not coincide with their clinic date," she said.

Depending on the needs of the agency and their riders, drivers can either drop people off and pick them up later or the driver can stay for the duration of the vaccination process.

Francis says the service is also allowing some drivers to return to work.

To keep passengers safe, buses will only operate at 25% capacity.

"We only transport, at this time, four passengers per bus at one time and we sterilize between runs," said Francis.

The City of Fresno is also looking to help those needing transportation during the pandemic.

Starting in March, there will be no fare required to ride a FAX bus wherever they need to go, including vaccination centers.

To contact Fresno EOC, you can dial 1-800-325-7433.
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