Bowling Green 'COVID Vaccine Transport' Project Has Riders Booked, But Funds Depleted
A community partnership in Bowling Green that provides free transportation to COVID-19 vaccination sites has lots of requests, but has run out of money.
Since making its first ride in early March, COVID Vaccine Transport has provided 150 trips for 80 individuals. Some of those trips are for second doses of the vaccine.
Bowling Green Human Rights Commission Executive Director Alice Waddell said those requesting rides include older adults who don’t drive, people of all ages with disabilities, and even some students from Western Kentucky University who don’t have transportation to get vaccinated.
“We have reservations up ‘til the end of April, so we need to service those people," said Waddell. "I would not like to call them and tell them we can’t do it.”
She said people continue to express gratitude for rides to vaccination sites at The Med Center or Greenwood Mall, with some adding that they’re thankful they don’t have to take a bus.
“I had no idea that demand would be this great. I thought maybe we would get a call maybe once or twice a week, or something like that, but we get calls every morning," said Waddell. "There’s a bigger demand than I thought.”
Waddell said a review of the project budget, done a few days ago, showed that funds are depleted.
She said project creator Blake Cleary, 23, of Bowling Green, and others are making an effort to raise more funds.
Cleary developed the project while working as a runner for a Bowling Green law firm during a 'gap year' between college and law school. Cleary said he realized that people who couldn't get to the law office due to disablities or lack of transportation would likely be unable to get to vaccination sites.
The project is a partnership that includes Cleary, the Human Rights Commission and Dave’s Transportation Service, which has wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The project is funded by donations. There is no charge to those who get rides.
More information on the program can be found by emailing this address.