The Metropolitan Council announced today it’s marshaling its resources for the region’s frontline healthcare workers to provide a safe and stress-free trip to and from work. Starting Monday (April 13), Metro Mobility will be providing free door-to-door service from home to work and work to home for any person who works at a healthcare facility, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This effort comes as doctors, nurses, home health aides, clinic staff, janitorial and all other healthcare support staff put their lives on the line to bring Minnesotans through the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. With Metro Transit service reductions, we understand those who are dependent on transit to reach their jobs may not have the transit access they previously had.
In addition, by definition, mass transit transports groups of people in the same vehicle. This new service will provide solo or very small group on-demand rides for essential healthcare workers to and from work and home, improving physical distancing for them on transit.
“Across the state, Minnesotans are stepping up to protect and support one another through this unprecedented crisis,” said Governor Tim Walz. “I am proud that the Metropolitan Council is taking action to offer door-to-door transportation for the region’s health care staff, which ensures our frontline workers can travel safely where they need to be.”
“For more than 50 years, the Metropolitan Council has been committed to being a regional solution for regional problems,” said Charlie Zelle, Chair of the Metropolitan Council. “Healthcare workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical services to those who need them most. Our strengths lie in getting people safely where they need to go, and right now, our health care heroes need protected, reliable transportation. We are honored to provide this service.”
To participate, essential healthcare workers need to provide their employee identification badge that shows they are employed in a healthcare facility. These trips will all be following state guidelines for physical distancing and will only transport as many customers as is safe for the vehicle.
Essential healthcare workers can also be assured Metro Mobility is doing all it can to make sure they are protected. Drivers are taking extra time to wipe down interior touch points with disinfectant after each passenger trip and buses pull into the shop for sanitization at least daily.
Our system is set up to provide rides anywhere throughout the seven-county region. Healthcare workers just need to call the number associated with their home address to schedule a ride. Tell the reservationist their name and that they are a healthcare worker, where to pick them up and drop them off, and what day and time.
Healthcare workers can schedule a ride up to four days in advance, although the Met Council will try to accommodate same day requests whenever possible. As service demands allow, the goal is that each bus will arrive within 20 minutes of the agreed-upon pick-up time.
Changes or cancellations should be made at least one hour in advance. Learn more at Metro Mobility Transport for Essential Health Workers.
Transit outreach numbers by region