For Provider Participants: Communications

Centralize Transportation Options via Smartphone Access

The Veteran populations of America, young and old, are continuing to access resources and services via their mobile and tablet devices. Yet, many government services and even local community transportation services go unknown to Veterans and their Families as they move to new neighborhoods or attend Military training (if in the National Guard) in distant, unfamiliar geographic areas. Our idea, selfish as it is, is to develop a central database for transportation options (free and those that cost) for Veterans and their Families and then to serve this information easily and simply to smartphones, which can automatically geolocate a user and show them transportation options "around me." Many Veterans who cannot afford a personal computer and may need transportation the most are instead opting to purchase a smartphone as their means to connect to the Internet, text messaging, phone lines, and as a status symbol - YET - there are almost zero choices for Veterans in the iPhone and Droid marketplaces, especially transportation related Veteran apps. We would love to discuss this idea in this open forum and determine the ideal mobile phone needs of Veteran transportation services. Many times Veterans cannot get to a job interview or get to their 2nd or 3rd job because of the lack of transportation. The more we can do to empower Vets to know what transportation options are available to them, anywhere, anytime, the more job opportunities will then be open to our country's civilian soldiers and the tragic unemployment statistics can begin to decrease.


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Idea Details

Similar Ideas [ 2 ]


  1. The idea was posted


  1. Comment
    Jonathon Lunardi ( Idea Submitter )

    If you have ideas on how we can better serve Veterans and their Families via smartphone access for transportation knowledge - please discuss them with us. We have a mission to drastically improve Veteran services through digital communications.

  2. Comment
    Tiffany Madison

    I like that Jonathan. One of the most significant challenges for veterans when attempting to access transportation resources is understanding that local options available. If a telephone could automatically geolocate a user and show them transportation options nearby, half of the frustration for these veterans would be mitigated.

  3. Comment

    What a wonderful idea for those in areas that have cell coverage..This will be the future for everyone and especially the younger veterans will surely benefit from such an application.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Jonathon Lunardi ( Idea Submitter )

      It will definitely help connect the younger Vets and the future Veteran populations. My 18 year old sister is glued to her smartphone and uses it more than her computer. I think you could also include some system to utilize QR codes on all transportation vehicles where a Vet could scan the code and find information out about the driver and organization who sponsors the driver and vehicle. My Aunt even suggested we create a tool for citizens to offer driving to Vets, but in order for fraud to be reduced and liability, the Vet would need some way to rate and check on the vehicle /driver. That would be further down the road, but in DC we have the SLUG options where random people hop in cars in order to be able to drive in the HOV lanes, similar concept here but for Vets. I wonder if a Taxi cab company could offer discounts for Veterans perhaps.

  4. Comment

    Excellent idea, Jonathon!

    Michael Garee

  5. Comment
    Michael Barrett

    As a veteran, and after speaking to hundreds of veterans, resources via a mobile platform is critically needed and basically non existent until now through Veteran Central.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Jonathon Lunardi ( Idea Submitter )

      Yes, it alarms many Veterans that I speak with that there are not more services, information, and resources available to them on the many mobile and tablet platforms. Veteran Central is poised to provide these services to the Veteran communities if the Government does not see value in doing so. Incredible, positive change is possible through action within modern digital communications.

  6. Comment

    I recently received a Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative grant to design and build an app (iPhone & Droid) for travel options in Anchorage, Alaska. Can't wait to get started on this project. Is anyone else in the process of developing an app? Thanks, Jamie

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Jamie, we would love to collaborate with you on the transportation app. We are developing several and I am sure we can learn from both approaches. Write me at if you would like to chat on the phone soon.

  7. Comment
    Dan Rogers

    Unified Dispatch has direct integrations to taxi, shuttle, sedan, and demand-response systems throughout the USA and Canada. We can provide smartphone apps with payment and shared-ride options or allow third party providers to interface with our systems. For more information you may reach me at

  8. Comment

    Google already has a Google transit feature, which can be accessed from smart phones, which can give you transit directions from wherever. There is a process to get the data on there, so a lot of places are not covered.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      For those of you who are interested in getting your city's data into Google's transit map, check this out:

      Also, the National RTAP program has some good YouTube videos for loading data into the General Transit Feed Specification here:

      There are also some great vendors who can help you manage this process. The one I am most familiar with is I met Aaron here in Portland a few months back. He does good work.

  9. Comment

    Jonathon: This is a great idea. Look at the list of VTCLI grant recipients. There are several who mention mobile apps in their descriptions.

    How do you envision building your centralized database? Would it do more than just list agencies and phone numbers, or would it also allow customers to do trip planning and trip booking?

    I've had several clients express the same idea, but they run into issues getting data to move between various platforms. It seems that resource directories are pretty easy to establish, but a lot of the one-call/one-click efforts focus on additional functionality including trip planning and booking. This requires some level of data transfer between platforms. Have you encountered this issue? How are you overcoming it?