Lancaster – On January 23, 2021, during the monthly board meeting, the forward-thinking AVTA board members, led by Chairman Marvin Crist, approved the plan to offer a dedicated local bus service to the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds should the need arise for transportation services to COVID 19 vaccination centers. Due to this proactive leadership, when the start date was announced for local vaccination services at the Fairgrounds, AVTA’s key role in transporting AV residents was already in place.
Starting Monday, March 8, 2021, AVTA will launch its dedicated routes from all four of its AV transportation centers to the COVID 19 vaccination center at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster.
“I want to thank the members of the AVTA Board of Directors for supporting this effort to make the COVID 19 vaccine available to ALL residents of the Antelope Valley,” said AVTA Board Chairman Marvin Crist. “We have an established history of looking at the ‘big picture’ and our board will continue working with the AVTA staff to provide enhanced service to our community.”
The dedicated routes will service the AV Fairgrounds from both Palmdale and Lancaster. Palmdale pick up and drop off locations will be at the Palmdale Transportation Center, on 6th Street East and Technology Drive, and the South Valley Transit Center, at 40th Street East and Palmdale Blvd. Lancaster pick up and drop off locations will be at the Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, on 10th Street West at Avenue K-8, and the Boulevard Transit Center, at Jackman Street and Sierra Highway.
These bus routes will run on 35-minute frequencies during the days and hours the vaccination site is in operation. The service will be fare free. Riders will be responsible for scheduling their appointment at the vaccination center.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all eligible residents regardless of insurance. In order to receive a vaccination, qualified residents will be required to make an appointment via kp.org/covidvaccine. For eligibility guidelines, please visit kp.org/covidvaccine.
“Transportation is often a lifeline for many members of our community, connecting residents with work, businesses, schools, healthcare, and in this case, an essential, life-saving vaccine,” continued Chairman Crist. “AVTA’s response to our initial request on this project was very commendable, preparing a proposal and plan in under 24 hours, allowing the board to act quickly.”
AVTA will continue a policy of 50% reduced maximum seated occupancy and operators and riders will continue to observe social distancing. A mask or cloth face covering is still required to be worn in order to board and ride the bus.
AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and it is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West.