NEWPORT NEWS—Newport News residents having trouble getting themselves or loved ones to get COVID-19 vaccinations now have an extra option. The City of Newport News is partnering with Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), to make it easier for residents to get to and get home from vaccination clinics and sites.
“Access to reliable transportation is a barrier preventing some people from getting the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Newport News Fire Chief, Jeff Johnson. “The city’s partnership with Hampton Roads Transit ensures everyone has the ability to access a shot, whether they travel to a Community Vaccine Clinic, pharmacy, doctor’s office, or a clinic sponsored by a church or group. By offering this transportation assistance, we are protecting the lives of our residents and are one step closer to moving out of the pandemic.”
To receive a pair of HRT passes, residents should call the city’s 311 Contact Center by dialing 311 or by calling 757-933-2311. They can also complete a form on the city’s website. Residents should NOT contact HRT directly for passes.
To request passes, residents will need to provide their name, address, phone number, and indicate if they have already scheduled an appointment for the vaccine. Residents do not need to have a pre-scheduled vaccine appointment to be eligible, as many clinics are now offering walk-in vaccines.
After completing a request, residents will be called and given information on where and when they can pick-up their bus passes. Pick-up locations will be at city buildings and facilities that are easily accessible to those requesting the passes.
While it may seem counterintuitive that people requesting easier access to vaccines will need transportation to pick up their passes, the hope is that the passes can be picked up when it’s convenient for a family member or friends who might not be available at the time a resident wants to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
Passes are valid for us on all HRT transit modes and routes to provide residents with numerous options on where they receive the vaccine. Residents age 16 and older experiencing transportation barriers are eligible to receive two passes, but they must be used to travel to and from a vaccine clinic or site.