Posted on 03/04/2021

Partnership with Uber will offer free and half-off rides to bring South L.A. residents to USC to get vaccinated


LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the opening of the City’s newest vaccination site at the University of Southern California (USC). Located at the corner of Exposition and Figueroa next to USC’s University Park campus, the site will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 5,000 people a day. 


“Equity drives every facet of our strategy to end the pandemic, but our efforts will come up short unless we shorten the distance between life-saving vaccines and our hardest-hit Angelenos,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our City is determined to deliver doses to residents of South L.A. and every community — and our partnerships with both USC and Uber will enable us to get shots into the arms of thousands more Angelenos every day and move us closer to defeating COVID-19.” 


The new vaccination center will open on Tuesday, March 9th, and operate daily from 8am to 4pm. Located near the Expo Park Metro Station, the site will comprise all seven levels of the Flower Street parking garage at Expo and Figueroa to accommodate drive up, walk-up, and patients who require additional access services.


“It’s our privilege to help in this effort and actively partner with the City and Mayor Garcetti to fight this virus,” said Dr. Carol Folt, President of USC. “This center will help bring vaccines into communities most impacted by COVID-19.”


“The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine must be rapid, equitable and accessible. For many vulnerable neighbors like the ones I represent, it can be a matter of life and death,” said Councilmember Curren Price. “The new vaccination site at USC will complement efforts happening on the ground in CD 9 right now. This includes our mobile vaccination sites, as well as trusted health centers that our community turns to like St. John's Well Child & Family Center and Kedren Health. Strategic partnerships such as this one increase access to care, protect our communities and ensure people of color are not sidelined.”


To expand access to the site and ensure Angelenos without a car can still get vaccinated, the City and the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles have partnered with Uber on a new initiative to provide 15,000 free rides — and another 20,000 rides half-off — to bring South L.A. residents to USC for their vaccination appointments. Uber’s contribution amounts to $500,000 worth of rides, making it the largest commitment of its kind anywhere in the country.


“Transportation should never be a barrier to getting the vaccine,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer, Uber. “We are proud to work with Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles to help ensure equitable access and are committed to continuing this work in Los Angeles and around the world.”


Given current supplies of the vaccines, the USC site will be limited to a few thousand doses in its first week of operations. Starting next week, a large batch of appointments will be reserved for seniors in South L.A. As supplies increase, officials expect to vaccinate up to 5,000 people per day at this location, making it the second-largest vaccination site operated by the City of L.A. and growing the City’s daily vaccination capacity from 27,000 to 32,000.


The new site at USC and collaboration with Uber are only the latest steps in fulfilling Mayor Garcetti’s commitment to prioritizing equity in the City’s COVID-19 response. To build on that promise, the Mayor announced the expansion of another program — the Dependent Homebound Population Vaccination Initiative (DHP) — to get life-saving vaccines to residents who are homebound due to chronic disease, disability, or other reasons. 


Working with the City’s Department of Disability, the County Department of Public Health, and trusted community groups, DHP teams will go directly to these vulnerable Angelenos and administer vaccines in their homes. Led by the Los Angeles Fire Department and CORE personnel, this initiative aims to vaccinate 300 homebound seniors next week and eventually reach Angelenos living in public housing, senior centers, and long-term facilities.


About the City of Los Angeles’ Vaccination Program


Since launching a COVID-19 vaccination program in December, the City has administered over 490,000 vaccine doses — over 93% of its current supply. Led by the Los Angeles Fire Department, and in partnership with CORE, Carbon Health, Curative, and the USC School of Pharmacy, the City operates six fixed vaccination sites at Hansen Dam, San Fernando Park, Lincoln Park, Pierce College, Crenshaw Christian Center, Dodger Stadium, and now USC, in addition to mobile clinics currently reaching vulnerable communities. For more information, including how to schedule an appointment when available, please visit Coronavirus.LACity.org/Vaccine.