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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis August 10, 2012
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LaHood Announces $29 Million for Local Transportation to Support Veterans

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood just announced $29 million in FTA grants to provide improved access to local transportation for veterans and their families, wounded warriors, and other military personnel, helping them find affordable rides to work, school, shopping, medical care, and additional destinations in their communities. The grants will support 64 projects in 33 states and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative funds efforts by local governments and public transit agencies to implement technologies—ranging from “smartphone” applications to real-time transit bus locator information—that help veterans and others access and schedule rides on available buses, vans, and other transportation systems.

“America’s war heroes deserve a chance to support their families, participate in their communities, receive job training, and get to work,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, who was in Lee County, FL, for the announcement. “It’s vitally important that we remove barriers to success by making transportation available wherever our veterans choose to live, work, and receive care.”

The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is more than 12 percent, more than four percentage points above the national average.

Among the largest grants are $2 million each to the San Diego Association of Governments and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, CA—in San Diego, this funding will purchase such enhanced resources as a one-click website and round-the-clock live telephone support; in San Jose, the money will go to updating an existing one-call/one-click center.  Other grants are $1.5 million to Iowa DOT to create a statewide resource for accessible transportation and $1.4 million to Lee County, FL, for informational kiosks at key public transit locations.

FTA received 81 eligible proposals requesting $41 million for this second round of the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative grants, reflecting strong demand for the program. In FY 2011, FTA awarded $34.6 million for 55 veterans’ transportation projects around the country.

More information on individual grants is available here.
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