My thoughts on what may work is to have federal financial support that is both flexible and realistic. Each area is different and has its own veteran transportation needs. A program should have the background checks, proof of insurance, license, and reasonable vehicle safety, of course. There should be milieage reimbursment. In Boulder County, we have an organization that provides many services for veterans and their families. Transportation is just one of them. Veteran and family members volunteer to drive older and/or disabled veterans to VA facilities outside of the county in Denver, Fort Collins, Greeley, and Cheyenne. We don't provide transportation within the county because other agencies already provide that service. Many of our volunteers are also clients who receive other services. They have a loyalty to veterans, so they are willing to go on these long drives. They get mileage reimbursement, although some won't take it. Funding that would cover background checks and mileage reimbursement, as well as volunteer insurance coverage would be great. Some locales may need money for a vehicle, insurance, and gas money, as well. Our volunteers use their own cars. I'm glad that the federal Transportation Department is looking at this issue. Without rides to far away VA facilities, I don't know what many local veterans would do. Flexibility to meet the needs of various communities is the key. Thank you.
Idea No. 57