Peak time restrictions on concessionary tram and bus passes will be lifted during the early morning rush hour to make it easier for the older citizens and vulnerable people to get to early morning vaccine appointments.
Over 70s and those classified as clinically extremely vulnerable are being invited to get their Covid-19 jabs at a growing number of vaccine centres throughout the region.
But travel under the English National Concessionary Pass (ENCTS) is normally only valid for journeys taken after 9.30am.
So Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has joined forces with bus operators, including National Express West Midlands, to remove the peak time restriction for vaccine appointments.
The 9.30am restriction has also been lifted on the West Midlands Metro tram system, which is owned by the WMCA.
This will apply to weekday peak time journeys from Monday, 1st February for those who show a valid concessionary pass and are attending a vaccination appointment.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We are seeing a marvellous effort by our NHS and partners across the region to get the vaccine centres set up and make sure every one of our high priority citizens can get their jab by mid-February.
“So I am delighted that at TfWM, working with our bus operators, we have been able to help those who have no option but to take a bus or tram before 9.30am to attend their appointments.
“We have kept our public transport network operating throughout the pandemic to ensure that it is there for our key workers and those who need it for their essential journeys.”
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We are strongly urging everyone offered the vaccine to get it. But times are tough and we know some of our most vulnerable people may struggle.
“Therefore lifting the peak time travel restriction is a small way we can make life it easier for those who are relying on public transport to get their all-important vaccine.
“We are strongly urging everyone offered the vaccine to take it.”
Eligible Ring and Ride users are already able to use the service to get to and from vaccination centres and should use the normal booking telephone number.
- Those using public transport are reminded that it is mandatory to wear a face covering, unless medically exempt. Full advice on how to stay safe is available on the West Midlands Network website.
- Live travel updates can be found at westmidlandsnetwork.co.uk or follow on Twitter @WMNetwork and @WMRoads