scp-photo

City's ABQ RIDE Offering Sun Van Service for Vaccinations

Individuals with no transportation who live in Albuquerque or Bernalillo County may take Sun Van to vaccine appointments

A new collaboration is getting approved vaccine recipients who face transportation or disability obstacles to their vaccine appointments in the Albuquerque Metro Area. The collaboration is through the City of Albuquerque’s ABQ RIDE Sun Van Paratransit system in partnership with the Governor’s Commission on Disability and with assistance from the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), UNM Office of Community Health, and the New Mexico Commission for the Blind.

ABQ RIDE will transport individuals to vaccine sites using Sun Van service—even if they don’t fall into the traditional service criteria for the Sun Van system. This is a tremendous step forward in addressing the needs of people who are unable to drive or do not have access to transportation. The ABQ RIDE Sun Van is already transporting riders who are approved to use the system to receive the vaccine.

“As vaccine distribution expands and more Burqueños are making their appointments, no one should be unable to get the shot because they don’t have access to transportation or experience mobility challenges. ABQ RIDE is stepping up to get people where they need to go, ensuring that no one misses out on the opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

“Our public transit system and Sun Van Paratransit System is an invaluable service to many members of our community as it is their only way to get around,” said ABQ RIDE Transit Director Danny Holcomb. “Expanding this service to others in need of transportation to get vaccinated is just the right thing to do and the right thing to start getting us back to normal.”

A multitude of agencies have been advocating for increased accessibility for those living with a disability.

“The help these residents are receiving is significant as we all work together to make sure that persons with disabilities are able to access the vaccine,” said NM Commission for the Blind Director Greg Trapp.

“We know that individuals with a disability are more vulnerable to COVID-19, as such, our goal is to ensure that all our systems for providing vaccinations are accessible to those with disabilities. We are so thankful the City of Albuquerque and their Sun Vans have stepped up to provide this vital service to our disability community and we encourage other cities and counties to leverage their local resources to fill this void for their constituents,” said Linnea Forsythe, Acting Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Disability.

“I used Sun Van to get to and from my vaccine appointment, it was a smooth ride. It’s great for mobility and access, it’s safe, and I’m so glad it’s being made available to transport more people to vaccinations,” said Joe Sorensen, a regular Sun Van rider.

The UNM Office of Community Health is contracted with DOH to reach out to people with disabilities to arrange transportation and support, and ABQ RIDE is assisting in this outreach.

The ABQ RIDE Sun Van Paratransit System is for individuals who are approved by NMDOH to receive a vaccine. To get assistance scheduling a ride, users will need to register for the vaccine through NMDOH and indicate in the notes that they face a mobility or transportation challenge. The individual will then be contacted to arrange service. ABQ RIDE has currently transported more than 100 individuals to vaccine clinics in the Albuquerque area through its Sun Van service.

###

ABQ RIDE is Albuquerque’s principal form of public transportation, logging an average of 120,000 passenger miles on its busses each day. 

 

 

ABQ RIDE Contact

Ava Montoya

[email protected]

 

Governor’s Commission on Disability Contact

Breanna Anderson

[email protected]