City of Arlington offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments

As vaccinations ramp up, Tarrant County leaders and those in Arlington are working on ways to make it easier for people to get the vaccine.

That includes offering free rides to vaccination sites.

New to the area, Judy Simpson had to rely on her son for a ride to Globe Life Field in Arlington to get vaccinated. Simpson and her son, Jeff Sorenson, were not alone.

Many seniors are escorted by a friend or family member.

Now, Arlington residents can take a free ride to and from Globe Life Field thanks to a partnership between the city and the Via RideShare app.

People who live in Arlington can download the app, fill out a form and request a promo code from the city. Sign up as soon as your appointment is scheduled to make sure a van is available.

"We would hate for transportation to be the challenge that keeps them from getting the vaccine," said Alicia Winkelblech with the city of Arlington.

But Via and the HandiTran Service in Arlington are limited to trips only within the city limits.

Meanwhile, Tarrant County started offering free rides to vaccination sites last week through the Trinity Metro. It’s available to almost everyone living in Tarrant County.

"One thing that is restricted currently is people who need to move from other parts of Tarrant County into the city of Arlington," said Tarrant County Mobility Coordinator Kristen Camaraeno. "And that’s a conversation that we are having currently to come up with a solution."

The county is hoping it can soon make a deal so the Trinity Metro can at least go to the FEMA site at Globe Life.

"It’s good to have another option for them that doesn’t depend on making plans way in advance," Camaraeno said.

Steve and Jean Rogers live in North Richland Hills and say they know plenty of people who would take advantage of a free ride to Globe Life Field.

"Especially for us people who are used to smaller cities," Steve said. "We don't get out and drive in Dallas and Arlington."

"And it is a little bit confusing as to how to get here," Jean said.

Earlier this year, the Trinity Metro altered one of its routes to make the Hurst Convention Center site more accessible.

Tarrant County says a similar change near Arlington could connect more people with the new FEMA site.