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FTA Announces $30 Million Initiative Aimed at Americas Veterans and Military Families

FTA Announces $30 Million Initiative Aimed at Americas Veterans and Military Families

It’s currently estimated that 4 out 10 American veterans, including those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, reside in rural areas where affordable transportation options are few and far between.  However, thanks to a recent initiative by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), veterans, military families, and people with disabilities may soon be able to better connect with transportation services in their communities.  According to United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Ray LaHood, “This new initiative will help ensure that getting a ride to work, daycare or to medical appointment is no longer an obstacle.”
 
Know as the Veterans Transportation and Community living Initiative, the FTA is making available $30 million in competitive capital assistance grants to local governmental agencies to strengthen and promote local One-Call/One-Click Transportation Resource Centers.  Through the click of a mouse or quick phone call, veterans can easily obtain information, for instance, regarding handicap accessible vehicles in their community offering rides to employment centers – information traditionally not provided by a single source. 

Agencies eligible for grant funding include transit authorities and metropolitan planning organizations, which must use awarded funds for capital improvements to One-Call Centers, such as facility-related costs, software, and engineering and design.  Complementing the FTA’s effort is the money and support of additional federal agencies, including the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, which is allocating $250,000 for training and social media tools aimed at ensuring veterans and military families are involved in the transportation decision-making process.

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