How you can get a free ride to COVID-19 vaccination clinics

PITTSBURGH — Lisa Shikora has been using her personal vehicle to get people to their COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

“When I pick people up, I always make sure the car is clean. I always have water for them, hand sanitizer, cleansing wipes,” she said.

She’s been using social media to spread the word about her free rides. Shikora has made nearly 20 trips to COVID-19 clinics, including helping a couple in their 90s who got their shots right in her backseat.

“The couple I was driving was thrilled. It was the best thing ever for them,” she said.

Shikora is fully vaccinated herself and said she doesn’t offer the rides for the recognition. For her, it’s creating a small window of comfort in what has been a frightening time for many people.

“I just though it would be more intimate and caring if I could help people this way,” Shikora said.

She’s still looking for people to drive to their appointments in Wexford, McCandless, Pittsburgh and Squirrel Hill. If you’re interested, email her at las795@hotmail.com to arrange a ride.

Westmoreland County free bus rides

If you’d prefer the bus, though, Westmoreland County Transit is offering free rides to local vaccine clinics. As of Tuesday, it had taken 128 people to their appointments.

“People that are using our services, they just don’t have another way. Our transportation is the only way to get there. And we know that sometimes paying that fare can be a barrier to them,” said Alan Blahovec with the agency. “As long as people need the vaccine, we will continue to offer the free service.”

He said the agency is using revenue from a $7 million CARES Act grant, the government’s coronavirus relief bill, to cover the service.

If you need a ride in Westmoreland County, call the authority’s customer service department at 724-834-9282.