Erie County government announces Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority – Paratransit Service (The LIFT) provides free transport for seniors to local vaccine clinics and appointments in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health.
Applicable seniors can take The LIFT to any medical appointment in Erie County for free. They must be signed up with LIFT before receiving a ride.
Applications can be retrieved at https://ride-the-e.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/EMTA-Senior-CitizenApplication.pdf and mailed in or dropped off to EMTA at 127 E. 14th St., Erie, PA 16503.
If seniors do not have access to the internet for the application, they can always have someone they know print it out for them and drop it off or mail it in. They can also call The LIFT’s customer service line at 814-455-3330 and request to have an application mailed to them.
Applications are approved almost instantaneously, approximately the amount of time it takes to be placed into the system.
Conversely, The LIFT does not transport riders to testing sites. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 are not permitted to ride EMTA’s public transportation.
“This partnership is to help alleviate the hurdles some seniors may have with obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine,” states Chris Gerhart, chief operations officer at EMTA. “Our main goal is to provide safe and reliable transportation to the seniors of Erie County – especially to receive the vaccine, so they are safely integrating back into the community.”
When making an appointment with The LIFT, seniors should budget time for the 15-minute holding time after they receive their vaccination.
“We are grateful that this great service exists for our most vulnerable population and are proud to partner with EMTA on this endeavor,” said County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper. “Erie County government, including Erie County Department of Health, advocates for our underserved communities and we are committed to working with our community partners to ensure every person who is eligible in Erie County can receive a vaccine as it comes available.”
The Erie County Department of Health does not run vaccine clinics, but it does partner with the health systems administering the vaccine.