U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the availability of approximately $30 million to create or increase access to local and regional transportation resources that veterans and military families depend on to get to work, school and other destinations. The transit funding would boost access to jobs and training that America's service members need and deserve.
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama rightfully noted that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected around the world," said Secretary LaHood. "As tens of thousands of our military personnel return home, we must reward their sacrifices and those of their families with the services they need to more seamlessly reintegrate into their communities as quickly as possible. This investment helps to do that, and it serves as one small thank-you for their honorable service."
The previous round of Veterans Transportation and Community Living grants, announced in November 2011, provided $34.6 million for 55 projects in 32 states and Guam. Demand for the program was strong, with the Department receiving 70 eligible proposals seeking $52 million in funding requests to create "one-call, one-click" transportation resource centers around the United States last year.
The second round of Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative grants, funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will continue to help states and communities build or expand "one-click, one-call" centers that offer comprehensive information on local transportation options and other community services, with just a single phone call or click of the mouse.
"The President asked that we do all that we can to support those who have served our country, and we are answering his challenge," said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. "We must ensure that our nation's veterans and their families are able to connect to jobs, school, work and medical appointments wherever they live--and improving access to reliable, affordable transportation is key to helping them do so."
The notice of funding availability for the program's second round of grants is published today in the Federal Register (http://1.usa.gov/zYAEzx). Proposals are due on April 19, 2012. A list of the projects that have already been funded under the previous round is available here.
The Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative is led by the federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility, a permanent partnership of federal departments working together to better coordinate federal programs on behalf of people with disabilities, the elderly and low-income individuals. The Council is chaired by Secretary LaHood.
Additional information on the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative is available at www.fta.dot.gov/veterans.