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Uber Offers Rides To Get Vaccinated In New Orleans


Uber is donating 20,000 free or discounted rides for New Orleans residents to get to and from COVID-19 vaccination sites throughout the city.

The move is part of the ride-sharing company’s initiative to provide 10 million free to people around the world seeking vaccines.

“We hope that our technology can help make the largest ever global immunization campaign a success and deliver the benefits of the vaccine quickly and also equitably,” said Uber spokesperson Trevor Tunison at a press conference at the Ernest Morial Convention Center Tuesday.

One in four New Orleans residents is transportation compromised. The city has attempted to address the issue of getting to and from vaccination sites by partnering with the Regional Transit Authority to provide free bus rides to the Convention Center. However those passengers must be able to get to three pickup spots in the city in Duncan Plaza, Algiers and New Orleans East.

More than a quarter of the population in the city has started the vaccination process and 14 percent are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Uber is partnering with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, LCMC Health, the Orleans Parish Communications District and the National Urban League for the effort.

How It Works:

There are several ways to schedule a vaccine:; call 3-1-1 to schedule an appointment at one of the city’s list of providers;; or call 504-290-5200 to schedule an appointment at the Convention Center mass vaccination site

While scheduling the appointment, people will be asked if they have any special needs, at which time they can indicate that they need a ride to their vaccination appointment.

The person requesting the ride will be given a code for a $35 discount with Uber. They can enter the code when scheduling a ride to and from their appointment.

If they cannot access the app for any reason, they can call 3-1-1 or the LCMC hotline. A representative will help organize the trip for them.

The city also added this information for those calling 3-1-1:

- The call taker will need the name, location of pickup and phone number of the person requesting a ride. If they’re able to provide a mobile phone number with texting capabilities, the requestor will then receive text messages detailing information about their ride, such as exact time of pickup, name of driver, description of the vehicle, and vehicle license plate number. With this information the requestor will be able to manage their Uber ride to the vaccine site. - If the requestor does not have a mobile phone, NOLA-311 recommends calling to secure your ride at the time that you are ready to leave (giving sufficient time for delays, traffic, etc) so the NOLA-311 call taker can provide information about their ride, such as exact time of pickup, name of driver, description of the vehicle, etc. - If the requestor does not have a mobile phone and wishes to schedule their ride in advance, providing the above information to the requestor may not be possible, and the requestor will be responsible for meeting the driver at the specified location at the specified time.

There are some caveats:

The pick-up addresses and final destinations must exist within Orleans Parish.

Destinations to appointments must be either the Convention Center or a vaccination site.

The discount is capped at $35.

Bobbi-Jeanne Misick is the justice, race and equity reporter for the Gulf States Newsroom, a collaboration between NPR, WWNO in New Orleans, WBHM in Birmingham, Alabama and MPB-Mississippi Public Broadcasting in Jackson. She is also an Ida B. Wells Fellow with Type Investigations at Type Media Center.

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