ROCKY HILL, Conn. — (HARTFORD) – United Way of Connecticut and Community Health Center, Inc., and Uber announced today a partnership to support eligible Connecticut residents with transportation to vaccination appointments.
Uber has pledged to provide 30,000 free rides aimed to support those with limited access to transportation so that they can get to vaccine appointments, following up on the State’s recent announcement expanding vaccine eligibility to all residents over the age of 16. The donation is a combination of promotional codes, which can be entered directly into the Uber app, and ride service through Uber Health, a scheduling platform that will allow United Way contact specialists to arrange rides for individuals who do not have access to the Uber app. Connecticut residents can use these transportation options to travel to and from appointments scheduled at vaccine sites across the State.
Connecticut residents in need of transportation will be connected to the free rides through the COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line. The Assist Line will provide callers who are Uber users with a promotional code to enter into their Uber app. The promotional code is good for up to four trips (two round trips) to and from vaccine sites. Trained staff will provide additional assistance through Uber Health to callers who do not have the Uber app.
“These Uber rides act as another tool in our Connecticut toolbox to maximize vaccine access to tens of thousands of Connecticut residents,” said Governor Lamont. “This resource and partnership will allow so many of our neighbors to get their shot without worrying how they will get to and from the vaccination site. I want to thank Uber and our Connecticut partners for forging this commitment.”
“United Way of Connecticut is committed to ensuring that everyone in our state can access the COVID vaccine,” said Lisa Tepper Bates, President and CEO of United Way of Connecticut. “Through the Vaccine Appointment Assist Line, we are scheduling thousands of residents every day for vaccine appointments – including the most vulnerable members of our communities and those who face language and technology barriers. This generous grant from Uber to United Way of Connecticut will allow our Vaccine Scheduling Specialists to connect callers without access to transportation with the rides they need to travel to and from their appointment. We are grateful to Uber for this important support.”
"We commend Uber for supporting the transportation needs of medically underserved people in Connecticut seeking COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Mark Masselli, Founder/CEO of Community Health Center, Inc. “The program Uber Health is making possible through a generous grant to Community Health Center, Inc. means that thousands of individuals without reliable transportation will be able to book rides to their local vaccination clinic through United Way/211. This is the kind of partnership that makes a real difference as we all work toward ending this devastating pandemic.”
“We are proud to partner with Governor Lamont, United Way of Connecticut, and Community Health Center, Inc. in supporting vulnerable populations across the State,” said Hayley Prim, policy manager for Uber. “This partnership is a milestone in our larger commitment to provide ten million free or discounted rides to those in need across the world to ensure transportation is not a barrier for our most vulnerable populations to access the COVID-19 vaccine.”
In early January, in partnership with the Governor’s Office and Department of Public Health, United Way of Connecticut established Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line. Vaccine Scheduling Specialists have since handled more than 494,000 calls and scheduled more than 164,000 Connecticut residents for their vaccination. The Vaccine Appointment Assist Line is open 7 days a week from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Dial 877-918-2224 to speak with a Vaccine Appointment Specialist who can help you schedule a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment and access transportation assistance.
The mission of United Way of Connecticut 211 is to help meet the needs of Connecticut and its residents by providing information, education and connection to services. United Way of Connecticut 211 provides these services with support from the State of Connecticut and Connecticut’s local United Ways.
Founded in 1972, with offices in California, Colorado and Connecticut, Community Health Center, Inc. provides medical, dental and behavioral care to 150,000 patients, many uninsured and underserved, at more than 200 locations in Connecticut. It has been a leader in Connecticut’s response to COVID-19, performing 600,000 COVID tests statewide and administering 250,000 vaccine doses to date at its four mass vaccination sites and daily mobile, community-based clinics.