Blue Cross NC invests to help provide 100K rides to vaccinate

United Way of the Greater Triangle, in partnership with Lyft, announced the launch of RIDE UNITED NC, a statewide campaign designed to remove transportation barriers for low-income North Carolina residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The campaign has a goal of providing access to 100,000 round-trip rides across all 100 North Carolina counties and is accepting donations to support efforts.

The launch of RIDE UNITED NC is made possible by initial investments totaling more than $400,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Coastal Credit Union and Duke Energy, along with initial coordination support from North Carolina Department of Transportation.

This program builds on the long-standing relationship between United Way and Lyft, and this extension is part of Lyft’s Vaccine Access Program, which is designed to provide support to individuals in need in select cities.

“Everyone needs access to the vaccine if we are going to end this pandemic. That’s especially true for communities of color, seniors, uninsured individuals, and other vulnerable populations that are facing greater impacts from COVID-19,” said, Eric Guckian, president and CEO at United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Beginning in mid-April, RIDE UNITED NC will connect eligible individuals who already have a vaccine appointment to round-trip transportation credits through local nonprofit organizations and a dedicated call center.

These resources will help educate individuals about the science behind the COVID-19 vaccine and support individuals experiencing a range of barriers, including lack of access to the Lyft App, bank accounts and more.

“Now more than ever, we need to think differently about the health care needs of our underserved communities,” said Cheryl Parquet, director of community engagement and marketing activation at Blue Cross NC. “And that means meeting them where they are and eliminating barriers to care, like transportation.”

For more information or to learn how to contribute, go to www.unitedwaytriangle.org/rideunitednc.

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