From Oakland County

Oakland County and SMART are teaming up to provide easy access to COVID-19 vaccinations for those who need transportation to and from their scheduled vaccine appointment.

“As we expand to offering doses to anyone over 18, we want to make sure that transportation does not stand in the way of access to one of our clinics throughout the county,” Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said. “We appreciate SMART’s partnership at this critical time.”

Oakland County Health Division and SMART incorporated the transportation service into the COVID-19 vaccine registration form at oakland countyvaccine.com. Any resident who has transportation needs simply checks a box to indicate they need a ride to their appointment. When they receive their confirmation email, they are prompted to call 1-800-848-5533 to schedule their transportation to and from the clinic. Health Division staff then contacts SMART to arrange transportation directly with the client.

“Our partnership with SMART helps connect Oakland County residents to vaccination clinics,” Oakland County Health and Human Services Director Leigh-Anne Stafford said. “Providing assistance with transportation helps ensure no one is left out of the vaccination process.”

SMART has maintained operations throughout the pandemic to ensure transportation services were safe and reliable for all those who need them. The SMART VAX Ride program uses a multi-pronged approach, leveraging services, partners, and federal funding to adapt to the expanding vaccination programs being offered throughout the region. Using its key resources to coordinate rides directly with vaccine scheduling agencies ensures that transportation is not a barrier to receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“As eligibility, doses, and sites continue to expand and grow, it becomes even more important to coordinate SMART’s services with those providing vaccines, as vaccines are a critical step in our region’s road to recovery,” SMART Deputy General Manager Robert Cramer said. “Our partnership will help automatically connect those who need it with a safe, free ride to and from a vaccine.”

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