Millions being spent to make sure North Carolinians have transportation to vaccination appointments

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Millions of dollars are being spent to make sure that North Carolinians have transportation to vaccination appointments.

An estimated 600,000 people in the state have issues with transportation, which means getting to and from vaccine sites can be a challenge.

NCDOT and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is giving $2.5 million to all 100 counties to help transportation agencies provide rides for people who need the assistance.

On Wednesday, Guilford County Transportation leaders learned they would receive a little more than $73,000 to shuttle people to and from their vaccine appointments.

“It’s important that everyone have equal access to vaccinations,” said Ryan Brumfield, the interim director for the Integrated Mobility Division at NCDOT.

They’re helping to break down barriers, one bus ride at a time.

“Each transit agency is working with local health departments to come up with unique strategies to help them solve unique challenges,” Brumfield said.

He told FOX8 there are plans in the works to make sure everyone who wants the vaccine can get a ride to get the shot for free.

“We do want to make sure that we’re providing adequate resources to support this effort,” Brumfield said. “It’s a top priority.”

Here’s where the money is going in the Triad, according to NCDOT:

  • Guilford County, $73,318
  • Winston-Salem Transit Authority (serves all Forsyth County, including Winston-Salem), $57,364
  • Alamance County Transportation Authority, $33,119
  • Rockingham County, $12,993
  • Davidson County, $35,145
  • Randolph County Senior Adults Association Inc. (serve residents in Montgomery and Randolph counties), $48,390

“The funding is going to areas that will maximize its benefit,” Brumfield said.

All of the money must be used to provide transportation for people getting vaccines. It’s estimated that transportation agencies will have to accommodate about four rides per person.

To help make sure that each area is getting the resources they need, state transportation officials are keeping an eye on how the districts are spending the funds, how fast it’s being spent, and if each area needs the entire amount of money.

“We do have the flexibility potential to redistribute the funding,” Brumfield said.

Guilford County Transportation leaders are meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss how they’re going to use the money.

If people are interested in utilizing these services, it is advised they call their local transportation agency and make an appointment at least 24 hours before needing a ride.

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