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ABQ Ride Sun Van offering lifts to vaccine appointments

Sun Van — normally used for passengers who have disabilities — can also offer vaccine-related lifts to people who have no other transportation options. (Image source: City of ABQ)

There’s a new way to get to COVID-19 vaccination appointments: an ABQ Ride Sun Van.

The city of Albuquerque says the vans – normally used for passengers with disabilities – can also offer vaccine-related lifts to people who would not otherwise qualify for Sun Van service, but have no other transportation options.

The Sun Van paratransit system already has taken more than 100 people from its standard ridership base to vaccine appointments, according to a city news release. But a new multi-agency collaboration means it can expand that service to people who may not drive or have access to a car.

“Our public transit system and Sun Van Paratransit System is an invaluable service to many members of our community as it is their only way to get around,” Transit Director Danny Holcomb said in a statement. “Expanding this service to others in need of transportation to get vaccinated is just the right thing to do and the right thing to start getting us back to normal.”

The city has partnered with the Governor’s Commission on Disability for the service. The New Mexico Department of Health, University of New Mexico Office of Community Health and New Mexico Commission for the Blind are also assisting.

The rides are available to passengers who have a confirmed vaccination appointment and have been approved by NMDOH to receive the vaccine. Passengers should schedule vaccine rides at least one day in advance by calling 243-7433.

Though the state continues its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, it is also still logging new virus infections.

State health officials on Tuesday announced 161 more virus cases – 60 of them in Bernalillo County – and three additional deaths. The fatalities include a man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s, both from McKinley County, and a woman in her 60s from Santa Fe County. That brings the state’s cumulative virus-related death toll to 4,010.

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