The Western Cape government is offering free transport services to those who want to get the Covid -19 vaccine.
Premier Alan Winde, transport MEC Daylin Mitchell and health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo launched the incentive on Monday at the Saxonsea vaccine site.
The provincial department of health identified the need for free transport through its on-the-ground local community liaison officers.
“These people are then transported by Red Dot Taxi through coordination by the department of transport and public works,” said Mbombo.
While the province officially launched the service on Monday, the Red Dot Taxi service has already transported some 8,600 passengers to vaccine sites and made over 285,900 trips so far.
With its 135-minibus taxi fleet, Red Dot Taxi has been instrumental in providing transport to essential service workers at the height of the pandemic. This included:
- Over 24, 000 healthcare worker trips since 18 May 2020.
- Support to over 25 hospitals including Groote Schuur, Tygerberg, Helderberg, Lentegeur, Khayelitsha District, and Brackengate.
- More than 27,800 quarantine and isolation trips were made in the metro and rural communities since 30 May 2020.
- Transported approximately 3,500 discharged patients home from hospitals since 1 January 2021.
Mbombo said during level-four lockdown, Red Dot Taxi services also transported essential healthcare workers who found themselves stranded due to limited public transport operating hours in the evenings.
It provided transport for citizens who tested positive for Covid-19 or were at high risk of being exposed to the virus.
“It will take the whole-of-society approach to conquer Covid-19. That is why I am pleased by the partnership between the Western Cape government and the minibus taxi industry that aims to deliver critical transport services as part of the fight against Covid-19,” said Mbombo.
“The Red Dot Taxi service is an excellent example of how the Western Cape is innovatively using public transport as part of an all-of-society approach to address important priorities,” said Winde.
The Atlantis Red Dot Taxi service launch comes during Transport Month this October.
The transport department is targeting Belhar with the specific focus on improving awareness of and advancing road safety, particularly among school goers.
“This is one of many efforts undertaken by my department to improve our overall public transport system and to align it with the real needs of our residents,” said Mitchell.
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney