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Strengthening Transportation for Veterans and Returning Service Members

The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Defense, and Health and Human Services established the VeteransTransportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI)  to improve transportation options and mobility for America's veterans, service members, and their families. An initial round of VTCLI grants was announced in November 2011 and the Federal Transit Administration announced the availability of an additional $30 million in February 2012. This program is funding a number of community grants to ensure integration, information and access to transportation options is available to veterans, military families and service-members.

The Federal Transit Administration convened its Training and Technical Assistance Partners to assist grantees and promote the goals of VTCLI:

  • Help communities build or expand a local One-Call/One-Click Center
  • Enable customers, especially veterans, military families and active duty personnel to use this one stop shop to find public and private
    transportation service options for their use  
  • Promote and support the genuine inclusion of veterans, military families and active duty personnel in local transportation planning efforts  

Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) is pleased to be a part of the technical assistance team for VTCLI. ESPA will focus on developing a web-based guide to public engagement, building collaborative partnerships, helping facilitate on-site public engagement action planning meetings, and promoting the use of open-government tools to gain greater awareness of the needs of veterans, military families, and service-members. In May, 2012, ESPA launched an online dialogue called “Strengthening Transportation Choices So We Can Serve Those Who Have Served Their Country". This forum is for U.S. veterans, service members, their families, and community service providers to share ideas and solutions that will help to ensure our transportation networks work for everyone.

Why is this Initiative Important?
At present there are approximately 23 million American military veterans, an estimated 40 percent of whom are age 65 and older (National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, VA Benefits & Healthcare Utilization (*.PDF), accessed 3/26/12). Veterans’ ability to travel for medical care, education, employment, and other services and activities is an issue of growing importance that presents a challenge to communities and transportation providers throughout the U.S.

Partners

Resources

National Resource Directory
The National Resource Directory (NRD) provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration.

TCRP Research Results Digest 99: Improving Mobility for Veterans
TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Results Digest 99: Improving Mobility for Veterans mobility explores issues facing our veterans and illustrates some potential strategies for community transportation providers who are interested in enhancing mobility options for our veterans.

Transportation for America’s Veterans and Their Families (*.PDF)
Report highlighting the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination’s work on veterans transportation issues and examples of best practices from locations around the country.

A Mission to Serve: State Activities to Help Military Veterans Access Transportation
The National Conference of State Legislatures has released an analysis of state activities that help military veterans access transportation that is based on nationwide survey research. The report summarizes ways in which states support veterans' transportation and includes case studies of efforts in Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin and detailed profiles for each of the 50 states, D.C., the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. 


Community Transportation
Summer / Fall 2009
This edition of Community Transportation casts light on the veterans' transportation challenge and highlights the outstanding work of a number of transit operators that everyday are connecting veterans with a better life.

Community Transportation Association of America Veterans Transportation Resources
List of resources compiled by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) that approach transportation (and other human services) issues from the perspective of veterans and military families.

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