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Transportation

Transportation is always cited as a top concern. Yet all programs and initatives offer capital funding, which is not always the problem for transportion systems. Operating funding is one of our top obstacles to facilitate providing transportation for Veterans. Municipal boundries between urban and rural areas also need to be less restrictive.

Submitted by James Queen 2 years ago

Comments (17)

  1. Municipal boundaries are a concern to many. Is anyone from an area where different VSOs or MSOs within the state work together to cross geographic boundaries?

    2 years ago
    0 Agreed
    1. The transit agencies in Solano County formed a working group to create an Intercity Taxi Scrip Program for persons with disabilities who are certified for ADA paratransit. This has been a successful program, but does have some small issues.

      2 years ago
      1 Agreed
    2. In Binghamton, the DAV goes up to Syracuse and I believe that they stop in Cortland on the way, but I have no idea if there is any cooperation with other VSOs.

      2 years ago
      0 Agreed
    3. Del Norte County Veteran Services offers a run to Eureka CA 1 time per week and runs to Roseburg OR as well utilizing volunteer drivers.

      2 years ago
      0 Agreed
  2. Rural areas often have limited medical facilities, transportation becomes an issue when the medical attention needed crosses over the county lines to get to the cities where the facilities are located. Having to arrange for a transfer to another transit agency's bus line puts undo hardship on the frail and disabled.If there is any form of cognitive disorder this problem really soars.

    2 years ago
    3 Agreed
    1. Yes! I performed paratransit eligiblity for a couple of years and this was a consistent, recurring problem. Not every town has a VA medical facility, so many required transfer to another ADA paratransit bus service, often cross-county. Many veterans would express that their VA appointments were difficult to obtain, difficult to get to, and the care often substandard as their medical staff would change often. Paratransit eligibility can require a professional verification of disability, but my experience with the VA was that their medical personnel were not responsive. It often required several phone calls and letters on the part of the veteran as well as paratransit staff to obtain the necessary documentation. Could this be because medical staff do not stay in one place longer than a year or two? The resulting care is often substandard and the vet has very limited places to obtain care. Once the vet becomes disabled, employment is limited or non-existent, so no group health coverage is available, and the disability may prevent them from obtaining private insurance. It's a difficult situation.

      2 years ago
      1 Agreed
  3. The challenges that are mentioned here, particularly those relating to more fluid connections between jurisdictions, are part of the reason for the existence of regional coordinating groups around the country. Given the distances that people may have to travel having a system that connects rural and urban areas, or which crosses other lines, is beneficial to the whole community.

    I recently heard from a United Way in Iowa that, together with some other local stakeholders, has started a twice-weekly transportation service linking several rural communities with medical services in urban areas. People using this service must schedule their appointments within a certain window, but the existence of the service provides access that otherwise may not exist. Creating such linkages can have positive effects on health and wellbeing.

    2 years ago
    2 Agreed
  4. our medical center serves three different areas of the VA medical system and they run a shuttle bus service to and from the clinics in those areas... some of the rides are over 100 miles. I thought all VA hospitals did this, they certainly should.

    Bob

    2 years ago
    0 Agreed
  5. All VA hospitals generally have at least DAV vans that run, but in a very large state with only one hospital, that makes it harder for the very rural to get to their appointments. They must often spend an entire day for one appointment. There is no public transit in these areas. Volunteer drivers are able to cross county lines and get people to their destination without transfers. But, money for programs such as these is extremely limited.

    2 years ago
    0 Agreed
    1. unfortunately I have yet to see the first DAV van that is accessible.

      2 years ago
      0 Agreed
    2. True, and It irkes me that taxpayers and individuals donate to them. get the Veteran where they need to be. Medicaid will not even allow us to carry them to a VA Hosp.

      2 years ago
      0 Agreed
    3. The lack of funding is one more good reason to coordinate veteran transportation with public transportation. Why do we always have to separate population groups or special needs from other folks? If we are all going the same direction and within the vicinity of the destination, can't we all ride together?

      2 years ago
      0 Agreed
  6. Yes, and Binghamton has several hospitals, yet vets in the Binhgamton area must travel over an hour each way to the VA hospital in Syracuse. There is no regular transportation around Binghamton for rural vets to go to dialysis, for example.

    2 years ago
    0 Agreed
  7. Operating funding is a huge challenge. I am currently juggling 12 small grants and contracts to provide transportation service to one county.

    2 years ago
    1 Agreed
  8. Jim is spot on. Getting vehicles is generally not as difficult as getting the funds to operate them. The folks at United We Ride have a partial solution to the funding problem: incentivize/mandate the different levels of government, and the programs they admimister, to consolidate their transportation efforts, or at the very least coordinate them. Two areas needing improvement come to mind. Medicaid brokers pay different providers to go into the same neighborhoods, at the times, to take passengers to the same hospitals/dialysis units. Medicare will pay an ambulance $200++ for a non-emgergency medical trip but will not pay a public/human service provider $20 for the same trip. Is there little wonder we have a mobility problem; and, exploding health care and socal program costs?

    2 years ago
    5 Agreed
  9. We must stop looking at single funding streams that serve only one group and start looking at the multitude of funding available and how that funding, coupled with other funds, can leverage more transportation. Many veterans are disabled or seniors, or low income for that matter, and qualify for other funding streams. For a veteran that is eligible for all of the above, the cost of their trip just got divided by the three or four possible funding streams so that cost is not fully carried by one. Three or four programs paying $5 or $10 for a coordinated trip is much better than trying to leverage veterans transportation dollars with an average cost of $40-$50 per trip. Also, coordinate with your Medicaid providers when possible. Long distance trips especially can be very affordable when the cost is coordinated between multiple programs.

    2 years ago
    2 Agreed
  10. Operating funding is a huge concern for all transit agencies and providers! We can't build capital without operating funds to support. Loosen the requirements and allow transit agencies to flex the funding for any type of expense, operating or capital, depending on their needs. Why so many restrictions. Our economy and transit agencies are needing to provide more services, not less, yet we are forced to reduce service all the time.

    2 years ago
    1 Agreed

Events

  1. The idea was posted
    2 years ago