On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration issued a Safety Advisory with recommended actions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 among transit employees and passengers. Public transit agencies implemented the USDOT recommendations to support social distancing practices. In addition, taxi and ride-hailing drivers also took the necessary precautions.
Concerned that public transit and other transportation options in Asbury Park could be severely impacted by the current public health crisis as we have seen in other cities, the Alliance for a Healthier Asbury Park sought to assist our community with much needed transportation services.
In 2019, the Alliance set aside funding from its New Jersey Health Initiatives Communities Moving to Action award to launch the Ryde4Life program through our partner, EZ Ride. The Ryde4Life program is intended to help older adults in New Jersey access safe, flexible and affordable transportation by addressing both “transportation gaps” and the “digital divide.” Read more about the launch of the Ryde4Life program.
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the Alliance and EZ Ride have expanded the Ryde4Life program to offer free services to any Asbury Park resident in need of transportation. We have advertised the program throughout the City of Asbury Park to help community members practice social distancing and support government-recommended containment strategies.
The Alliance and EZ Ride hope to provide trips to as many Asbury Park residents as possible, helping to keep them safe and healthy during these difficult and uncertain times. The expanded program was launched on May 4, 2020, and we are pleased that more than a dozen riders have already used the service.