SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — An appeal to prioritize public transit workers for COVID-19 vaccinations was made Wednesday by Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority General Manager and CEO Nuria Fernandez in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Transit workers are a lifeline serving other essential workers, the elderly and those with disabilities at a critical time, Fernandez said, adding that “surveys show passengers are overwhelmingly low-income earners and people of color, many who are essential workers themselves.”

He noted that VTA makes 33,000 trips a day.

“Given the clear societal, economic and equity benefits of the services public transit workers provide, we believe it would be a significant mistake for the state to fail to include public transit workers in Phase 1B of the state’s vaccine distribution plan,” Fernandez writes.