SGV Tribune

El Monte to provide free transportation to residents amid coronavirus crisis

The transportation service can take residents to the grocery store, medical appointments or to the San Gabriel Valley airport for coronavirus testing.

El Monte began providing free transportation to residents throughout the city on Monday, April 20.

The service comes through Fiesta Taxi and drivers can take residents to medical appointments, grocery stores or the San Gabriel Valley Airport for coronavirus testing.

The service is free for El Monte residents, with funds coming from the city’s transportation budget, City Manager Alma Martinez said. Riders will be given a mask and gloves if they don’t already have them.

Martinez said she thought of the service last Friday, when the city was hosting its new food pantry. Instead of driving up, she said she saw many residents walking up to receive free food.

“There’s a disparity in El Monte between those who have vehicles and those that don’t,” she said by phone on Monday morning.

And she didn’t want that disparity to mean residents wouldn’t have equal access to go to the store or get tested for COVID-19.

That sentiment was shared by Mayor Andre Quintero, who said this service may provide a safer alternative to public transportation.

“Usually, our residents will use public transportation,” Quintero said by phone Monday morning. “Given the situation, we want to make sure people have as little contact with the outside world as possible. So, we wanted to give people this service.”

The service is available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday. Call 888-710-3392 to book a ride. Riders must be over 18 and provide a valid I.D. Fiesta Taxi will also provide wheelchair accessible services upon request.