MATBUS Offers Free Rides to COVID-19 Vaccinations
"Passengers who board the MAT bus can tell the driver that they are going to a vaccination site and they will give them a free ride round trip to a vaccination site for both of their shots."
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — A reliable method of transportation is helping get more people to their COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
We stopped charging fares March 23rd of last year to March 31st of this year and that was to protect our drivers. We started loading passengers through the back door and not going through the fair box and that was to keep people social distance,”MATBUS Transit Manager Lori Van Beek said.
As of April first regular fare charges resumed. However, people in need of a ride to receive a COVID-19 vaccination appointment will be able to get on board for free.
“If they feel uncomfortable and there’s too many people on the bus maybe they’ll wait for the next bus,” said Van Beek.
The service will rely on an honor system. When boarding, simply tell your driver you are traveling to or from your official vaccine site.
“Passengers who board the MATBUS can tell the driver that they are going to a vaccination site and they will give them a free ride round trip to a vaccination site for both of their shots. And also paratransit clients with disabilities can get a free ride on para transit if they’re going to a vaccination site, ” said Van Beek.
Van Beek says passengers should feel safe while riding due to safety procedures.
“We did put in a whole new air filtration system on the bus and we put up permanent barriers around the drivers to protect them now as we start charging fares again. We have hand sanitizer on and we also do foggers cleaning each night on the buses to help protect the passengers,” Van Beek said.
One MATBUS driver who’s been with the company for 10 years says he’s glad to welcome more people on board.
“It’s something I absolutely love. I get to deal with passengers on a daily basis and I get to get people where they’re going in a safe and timely manner,” MATBUS Operations Manager Matt Pinotti said.
Later this Month MATBUS will offer free rides to all passengers who bring in an aluminum can during Earth Week.