Governor McKee Announces Partnership with Uber and United Way 2-1-1 to Provide 10,000 Free Rides to all R.I. Vaccine Sites
Uber donating transportation to help the most vulnerable Rhode Islanders get to and from local COVID-19 vaccine sites
PROVIDENCE, RI – Governor Dan McKee today announced that Uber has partnered with United Way of Rhode Island to help ensure eligible Rhode Islanders can access the COVID-19 vaccine. The partnership supports the State’s goal to vaccinate as many Rhode Islanders as possible by the end of summer by providing free rides to all Rhode Island vaccine sites for those with limited access to transportation.
The donation is a combination of promotional codes, which can be entered directly into the Uber app, and through Uber Health, a scheduling platform for individuals without a smartphone or access to the Uber app. Rhode Islanders can use the transportation options to travel to and from appointments scheduled at any vaccine site across the state.
By calling 2-1-1, Rhode Islanders in need of transportation to receive their vaccine will be connected to the free rides. A United Way 2-1-1 specialist will provide a promotional code for the caller to enter directly into their Uber app, good for four trips (two round trips) or two trips (one round trip) to and from a vaccine site. For individuals with limited access to technology, United Way 2-1-1 specialists will provide a “concierge” service, arranging and scheduling the caller’s rides to and from a vaccine site on their behalf.
United Way of Rhode Island’s 2-1-1 help center, available 24/7 and in more than 100 languages, has been on the frontline of the state’s response to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Along with handling more than 150,000 calls for information and referrals related to testing, health concerns, quarantine, and assistance with basic needs like food, shelter and utilities, 2-1-1 has helped tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders register for their vaccine.
“Rhode Island is focused on making vaccinations as accessible as possible to all residents and visitors,” said Governor Dan McKee. “We aim to utilize every approach at our disposal to bring vaccines physically to where people are. And, in this case, to reduce any barriers to traveling to a vaccine clinic. This partnership with The United Way and Uber is exactly the type of innovative collaboration that will help the State reach our vaccination goals to keep everyone healthy and safe and our economy fully open.”
Added Larry Warner, MPH, Chief Impact and Equity Officer at United Way and a member of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee: “We want everyone to be able to get the vaccine regardless of their access to transportation. 2-1-1 plays such an important role in our state and is a perfect fit for this partnership. We’re excited to work with Uber and the Governor’s office to offer this service to our fellow Rhode Islanders.”
“We are proud to partner with Governor McKee and United Way of Rhode Island to support vulnerable populations across the Ocean State,” said Hayley Prim, Policy Manager for Uber. “This partnership is a milestone in our larger commitment to provide 10 million free or discounted rides to those in need across the world to ensure transportation is not a barrier to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Individuals across Rhode Island should call 2-1-1 to schedule a vaccine appointment and to get connected with the no-cost transportation they need. Promotional codes and rides through Uber Health will remain valid through Sept. 30, 2021.