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May 05, 2021

NJ Transit offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites

Complementary round-trip tickets will be primarily offered through the transportation system's mobile app, but other options will be provided to customers without smartphones

New Jersey residents who are in need of transportation to get the coronavirus vaccine no longer have to worry. 

NJ Transit is providing complementary rides to and from vaccination sites across the state in an effort to inoculate as many residents as possible against COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

"Transportation should not be a barrier for anyone wishing to protect themselves from COVID-19," New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said

The Vaxride program will allow for roughly 11,000 New Jersey residents to receive up to two free round-trip tickets on NJ Transit to a COVID-19 vaccination site of their choosing. 

The free round-trip tickets can be used to get to and from both public and private COVID-19 vaccination locations, including local pharmacies and New Jersey's six mega-sites. The fares will only be valid for intra-state bus travel and at New Jersey train stations.

The complimentary tickets are primarily offered through the NJ Transit mobile app. Customers need to enter the promo code "Vaxride" in order to redeem the offer for two free round-trip tickets.

The offer is a one-time use code which will expire after 60 days. Tickets cannot exceed more than $20 in value, so any costs that go above that threshold will need to be covered by the rider. 

Residents without smartphones may obtain their free round-trip tickets by visiting one of NJ Transit's customer service offices or by contacting the public transportation system's customer service hotline and receiving the tickets via the mail within 7-10 days.

Customer service can be reached at 973-275-5555. NJ Transit has a number of customer service branches across the state, including at the Walter Rand Transportation Center in Camden.

Access Link customers may also obtain the free fares by mentioning the program when making reservations over the phone.

A map of COVID-19 vaccination sites in close proximity to NJ Transit train, bus and light rail service can be found on the transportation system's website.

The free tickets are being provided through a partnership with two New Jersey-based corporations, Novartis and Catalent. Novartis has committed $120,000 to the initiative, while Catalent has pitched in $12,000.

NJ Transit's free round-trip ticket program is the latest effort taken by the state to help vaccinate as many residents as possible.

All six of the state's COVID-19 vaccination mega-sites are offering walk-in appointments during specific time slots every day to residents ages 16 and older. Three of the six mega-sites can be found in South Jersey at the Atlantic City Convention Center, Rowan College of South Jersey and the Moorestown Mall.

An initiative aimed at religious communities called "Grateful for the Shot" provides vaccines following the conclusion of religious services.

Additionally, residents who get their first COVID-19 vaccine doses in May will be eligible for a free beer at select breweries across New Jersey. To receive their free beers, residents must present their vaccinations cards as proof at any of the 13 participating breweries.

The state said that it will also ramp up its in-person, email and phone communication in order to connect with residents who have yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Over 3.31 million residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the state. More than 7.5 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered to New Jersey residents.

The state is about 70% of the way to its goal of having 4.7 million adults fully vaccinated by the end of June. 

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