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April 2011 TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Responsible Senior Program Officer: Dianne S. Schwager Research Results Digest 99 IMPROVING MOBILITY FOR VETERANS This digest presents the results of TCRP Project J-6 Task 74, which was conducted by Westat, Rockville, Maryland in association with J.M. Rubino Consulting, St. Augustine, Florida. The digest was prepared by Jon E. Burkhardt, Joseph M. Rubino, and Joohee Yum. TABLE OF CONTENTS Summary, 1 Chapter 1 Veterans and Their Mobility Issues: An Overview, 9 A Roadmap for this Report, 9 Key Facts Concerning Veterans, 10 Mobility Challenges Facing Veterans, 12 Chapter 2 National Transportation Polices and Services for Veterans, 15 Veterans Health Care, 15 VA Transportation: A Brief Historical Overview, 19 Transportation Services that VHA Provides for Veterans, 20 VA Transportation Expenditures, 24 Recent Legislation and Activities, 26 Chapter 3 Typical Transportation Options for Veterans, 31 Veterans Drive to VA Medical Facilities, 32 Veterans Receive Services Via Nonprofit Veterans' Service Organizations, 32 VAMCs Directly Operate Vehicles, 36 VAMCs Contract with Transportation Vendors, 36 Veterans Use County-Provided Services, 37 Veterans Receive Services via Community-Based Organizations, 38 Transit Agencies Offer Transportation to Veterans, 39 VAMCs Provide Transportation Information for Veterans, 39 (TOC continues on inside cover)

OCR for page 1
Chapter 4 Current Innovative or Exemplary Practices, 41 Key Specific Cases, 41 Overall Observations, 55 Chapter 5 Improving Veterans' Mobility: Strategies for Transportation Providers, 57 Misconceptions Concerning Veterans' Mobility and Their Transportation Services, 58 Strategies for Improving Veterans' Mobility, 60 Assessment Tools for Transportation Providers and Planners, 65 Summary, 69 Chapter 6 Next Steps, 73 An Important Precursor, 73 Conduct In-depth Case Studies, 74 Develop a Model Transportation Planning Process for Improving the Mobility of Veterans, 75 Assess Transportation Needs of Special Groups of Veterans, 76 Develop Program Evaluation Tools for VSO Transportation Programs, 77 Summarize Lessons Learned from VA Transportation Demonstration Projects, 77 Study Veterans' Transportation Programs in Other Countries, 77 Chapter 7 Conclusion, 79 Bibliography, 81 Author Acknowledgments, 84 Appendix A VHA's Beneficiary Travel Program: Frequently Asked Questions, A-1 Appendix B List of Acronyms, B-1