NJ Transit launches public-private partnership to offer free rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites

With funding from NJ TRANSIT, in January travel instructors from NJTIP @ Rutgers started researching and posting information on transit access to vaccine locations to help New Jerseyans connect with COVID-19 vaccine sites using public transportation. On March 10, 2021 NJ TRANSIT announced its VAXRIDE Initiative.

On May 5, NJ TRANSIT kicked off a new phase of the initiative to help New Jersey residents get vaccinated, by offering complimentary rides to and from vaccination sites. 

The VAXRIDE program is a public-private partnership funded through the generosity of sponsors including NJ-based, global healthcare company Novartis (lead sponsor), and NJ-based Catalent, a global provider of drug delivery technologies and manufacturing solutions provides for approximately eleven thousand NJ residents to receive up to two free round trips to get vaccinated. 

The complimentary tickets will be offered through the NJ TRANSIT mobile app, and an off-line method will also be offered for individuals to obtain tickets without a smartphone.  Customers using the mobile app will enter the promo code “VAXRIDE”, which can be redeemed online for 2 complimentary round-trip tickets. Tickets will be limited to intra-state bus travel only (destinations within New Jersey) and valid only to rail stations within New Jersey. The offer would be a one-time use code (per registered email), with a 60-day expiry to accommodate vaccine availability. People may travel to both publicly- and privately-operated vaccine sites, such as state “Mega-Sites” and local CVS/Walgreens locations. 

Individuals without a smartphone may obtain tickets by visiting and registering at one of seven Customer Service Offices or by contacting NJ TRANSIT Customer Service and receiving their tickets via postal mail.  Registered Access Link customers may also obtain sponsored fares by mentioning the code “VAXRIDE” when making Access Link reservations via telephone.

Companies who wish to become a sponsor are encouraged to contact NJ TRANSIT at vaxride@njtransit.com

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Travel instructors from NJTIP @ Rutgers wanted to help people in New Jersey connect with COVID-19 vaccine sites using public transportation. With funding from NJ TRANSIT, using the NJ COVID-19 vaccine site list available on January 27, 2021, the NJTIP team started researching and posting information on transit access to vaccine locations.

On March 10, 2021 NJ TRANSIT announced its VAXRIDE Initiative to support New Jerseyans in their efforts to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The website includes a map that can be used to find vaccination sites that are conveniently served by NJ TRANSIT bus, train, and light rail routes. NJ TRANSIT will be adding additional information and features to the VAXRIDE tool, and NJTIP @ Rutgers will continue to help, by researching transit access to vaccine sites not located on NJ TRANSIT routes or rail lines.

Visitors are encouraged to check NJ TRANSIT frequently for updates to the VAXRIDE map. The VAXRIDE data can also be downloaded as a pdf.

For assistance with learning how to use transit, please contact NJTIP @ Rutgers via their website, njtip.rutgers.edu, by phone at (848) 932-4499 or via email at njtip_info@njtip.rutgers.edu