Santa Maria Area Transit (SMAT) is offering free rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments for ADA paratransit riders beginning Aug. 15, city spokesman Mark van de Kamp said. 

The free rides will be available through a temporary six-month program for paratransit-eligible riders. Those interested in taking advantage of the program should request vaccine transportation from the reservation dispatcher, and request roundtrip tickets if needed.

Riders will also need to notify the dispatcher if they plan to travel with their personal care attendant, according to van de Kamp. 

A list of Santa Maria vaccination sites can be found at publichealthsbc.org, with appointments available at myturn.ca.gov.

Riders can schedule next-day service or up to 14 days in advance by calling (805) 928-5624 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents are encouraged to book trips early.

Free fare only applies to vaccination trips. Regular ADA paratransit fare costs $3.

For more information about public transit services in Santa Maria, visit cityofsantamaria.org/transit.

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