As the fight against COVID-19 continues, limited access to transportation to vaccination sites has become a concern particularly for persons with transportation challenges. In an effort to help residents in need of vaccination, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is supporting a statewide initiative that assists local residents schedule free rides to local COVID-19 vaccination sites. While not limited to a particular group, the emphasis is placed on linking persons facing transportation challenges, such as disabled or low-income individuals, veterans, and the elderly, with available transportation providers.
MDOT’s toll-free line, 1-866-813-3616, offers information and referrals for transportation to vaccination sites by connecting callers to a designated regional call center.
This initiative is being coordinated through six networks of regional community transportation providers across the state.
“As more people get vaccinated, the number of COVID-19 cases throughout Mississippi continues to drop. MDOT’s goal is to keep that momentum by helping to make vaccination sites accessible to those with limited transportation options,” said Commissioner Tom King, Chairman, Mississippi Transportation Commission. “This is just a small way MDOT can help Mississippi take a step forward as everyone works to combat COVID-19.”
When contacting the toll-free number, the caller will be able to select their scheduled vaccination site from a menu of six options; Delta Area, Golden Triangle Area, Northeast Area, Central Area, Southern Area and Southwest Area. Once the region is selected, the caller will be connected to the designated call center for the ride to be scheduled within 24-48 hours. For evening and weekend calls, every effort will be made to confirm scheduled trips by the next business day.
“We at MDOT recognize the importance of everyone receiving the vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones, so we are supporting free transportation for our citizens to local vaccine locations,” Commissioner Willie Simmons, Central Transportation District.
The menu will also include an information option for questions and referrals through MDOT’s Public Transit Division. To reach the Public Transit Division contact them directly at (601) 359-7800.
Mississippi Department of Transportation news release