Minnesota Transit Buses Deliver COVID-19 Vaccines

The state's department of health is deploying the retrofitted buses to administer vaccines in hard-to-reach communities.

2 minute read

June 23, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Metro Transit Minneapolis

miker / Shutterstock

With a 40% reduction in service during the pandemic, Metro Transit, the Twin Cities' public transit agency, had some buses to spare. Meanwhile, some people in the state had difficulties accessing COVID-19 vaccines in their neighborhoods. "In Minnesota, as in many states, Black, Hispanic and Native American residents have received disproportionately fewer vaccine doses." To help get more people vaccinated, writes Henry Pan in Next City, "the Minnesota Department of Health, along with Metro Transit and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, debuted six buses specifically retrofitted to provide COVID-19 vaccines in areas where people need it the most."

The buses "are dispatched to a part of the state if the state health department finds an “obvious gap” in vaccine access. The health department works with partners in the community to identify these gaps, which can include a fear of crowds given social distancing guidelines, a lack of access to transportation and technology, free time, or poor English proficiency. Community organizations can also reach out to the health department to request a vaccine bus."

"Speaking to the challenges of getting people to vaccination events, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota spokesperson Jenna Carter says, 'With each and every location, we learn there is no cookie-cutter solution, and each site is custom to the community, so we work hard every day to ensure we are customizing our approach and solution for each community.'"

Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Next City

View of Interstate 205 bridge over Columbia River with Mt. Hood in background.

The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project

The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.

September 19, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Aerial view of coastal development and bright blue ocean in Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Kaua’i County Uses Long-Range Models to Mandate Resiliency Standards

The county requires builders to assess potential flood risks using models that account for sea level rise projected as far out as 2100.

1 hour ago - Smart Cities Dive

Semi truck driving down freeway with twilight sky in background.

California Governor Vetoes Autonomous Truck Ban

Gov. Newsom called the new law unnecessary, citing existing efforts by state regulators to develop new rules around autonomous trucking.

2 hours ago - Wired

Roadside motel with turquoise room doors in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Low-Barrier Motel Shelter Is a Success—But Not an Easy One

Many guests at Motels4Now are on their second or third stays—but staff say that's doesn't equal failure, and the numbers bear that out.

3 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.