Today, the City of New Orleans, Orleans Parish Communication District, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, LCMC Health, Urban League of Louisiana, and Uber announced a partnership to provide 20,000 rides connecting New Orleanians to vaccine sites in Orleans Parish, including the LCMC Health mass vaccination site at the New Orleans Convention Center.
Uber’s ride donation will help remove transportation barriers that could potentially prevent residents from accessing the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine. Uber is providing 20,000 free or discounted rides to and from the Convention Center and LCMC Health and New Orleans Health Department vaccine sites located across the city. Starting Wednesday, residents who need transportation assistance to these vaccine sites will be able to access Uber credits for free or discounted rides when registering for an appointment.
“Uber’s ride donation will fill a critical gap and will help ensure that all New Orleanians have access to a vaccine,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We know that neighborhoods where residents lack access to transportation have also experienced higher rates of severe illness and death from COVID-19. I’m proud that this program will truly serve the New Orleans communities most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”
The 20,000 rides are being donated to the Greater New Orleans Foundation for use by the City of New Orleans and LCMC Health to bolster their vaccination efforts. Uber will be integrated into the City and LCMC Health’s registration process so residents with no or limited transportation options will be able to sign up for both their vaccine shot and a ride at the same time. Starting Wednesday, eligible residents can register for appointments and rides in the following ways:
- Convention Center appointments or other LCMC Health vaccine sites by calling 504-290-5200 or by going to lcmchealth.org/vaccine.
- New Orleans Health Department community vaccine sites by calling 3-1-1 or 504-658-2299, or by going to ready.nola.gov/getvaccine.
Uber’s ride donations will offer an additional layer of transportation options for residents to get to and from the Convention Center. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will continue to provide free shuttle service to the Convention Center Hall J, departing every 15 minutes from Duncan Plaza, every 45 minutes from the West Bank RTA Park and Ride, and every 45 minutes from the New Orleans East Walmart. Residents interested in utilizing the shuttle must pay their regular fare to the designated pickup points. Both the outgoing and return shuttle service are free of charge. All RTA shuttle buses will be marked as “Special/Convention Center.” Complimentary parking for individuals driving to the Convention Center will be available in Parking Lot F, directly across from Hall J.
“Working through the Greater New Orleans Foundation, we are proud to support the efforts of the City and LCMC Health to significantly boost access to COVID-19 vaccines in New Orleans by providing transportation to and from vaccine appointments,” said Trevor Theunissen, Director of Public Affairs at Uber. “Throughout this pandemic we’ve maintained operations to provide essential services to New Orleanians and have taken multiple steps to help ensure that safety is at the heart of everything we’ve done. This is just the latest effort in our ongoing commitment to provide communities we serve with support they need during this unprecedented time.”
“We have focused on every partnership possible, including this one with Uber and the Greater New Orleans Foundation, to make it as easy as possible for our community to access vaccines,” said Greg Feirn, CEO of LCMC Health. “We are grateful to Uber, GNOF, the City, the Urban League and others who are helping us reach those who are ready to #beinthatnumber, but don’t have access to a vehicle.”
“Getting shots in arms is literally the shot in the arm we need to keep our community safe and bring our economy back,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “We are thrilled to work with Mayor Cantrell and her team, as well as great partners like LCMC Health, the Urban League of Louisiana, and the Orleans Parish Communication District, to facilitate this generous and innovative donation of free rides from Uber to and from vaccination sites.”
“This initiative stands as yet another example of how embracing new ideas and new technology creates better opportunities to meet people where they are and to provide them with the services they need when they need them,” stated OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris. “I want to commend Mayor Cantrell for recognizing this opportunity, and for working with Uber and so many other amazing organizations in our city to help ensure those who want a vaccine are able to do so. Our NOLA-311 team is ready to answer the call, just as they have throughout the entirety of this pandemic, and look forward to ensuring the residents of New Orleans who reach out to us can take full advantage of this fantastic program.”
“We are pleased to join Uber, the City of New Orleans, LCMC and the Greater New Orleans Foundation in the ride donation partnership,” said Judy Reese Morse, President and CEO of the Urban League of Louisiana. “This opportunity will support those who want the vaccine but struggle with transportation challenges.”
“Making sure people – especially our seniors and vulnerable communities – can get to vaccination sites when they need to is critical to beating this virus. We cannot allow a lack of transportation to be a factor in determining whether New Orleanians have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. I applaud Uber for being proactive and ensuring transportation is no longer a barrier for many of our residents,” said Kristin Gisleson Palmer, District C City Councilmember and Chair of the Transportation Committee.