Friday, May 25, 2012

Strengthening Transportation Choices So We Can Serve Those Who Have Served Their Country

Contributed by Mary Leary

Many thanks to everyone who took the time help us support participation in the National Online Dialogue on Veterans' Transportation as we’ve had excellent success in meeting the goal for the event – to learn how to address barriers and increase access to transportation from both the veterans and provider community.

As of last Wednesday, over 1,400 people visited the site. Over 340 participants shared more than 165 comments, 348 votes, and 51 ideas. We launched the event at the APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference and promoted it heavily again at this week’s CTAA EXPO. U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) leadership have all publicized this event heavily in their blogs, with videos and in recent speeches - during FTA Administrator Rogoff’s keynote to Expo attendees this week he noted the dialogue. The White House cross-posted Secy. LaHood’s blog on the dialogue. The level of participation in terms of ideas is almost twice that of any of our previous dialogues – over 6 ideas per registrant. This participation rate shows the strong level of interest people have in suggesting specific actions that they themselves see of benefit to serve veterans.

Participants have primary interest across various stakeholder groups: public transportation (28%), veterans’ services (22%), human services transportation (11%), medical transportation (6%), disability services (4%), employment/workforce (3%), and planning (3%). Please help us with one last major push to get more ideas, to get folks to vote on the ideas that are there or comment upon the ideas. In our final report, we hope to clearly lay out the top ideas with the most votes to assist FTA, the VA and our other Federal Partners with discrete actions that can be the next step in our movement to: “Strengthen Transportation Choices So We Can Serve Those Who Have Served Their Country.” The messages in the dialogue make it very clear that we have a lot of work to do, but there are some solutions. 

It is truly an honor to be a part of this important effort. As we head into a holiday weekend where we all remember those who gave their lives for our country, it reminds me of our obligation to do our part for those we still have with us. To add your voice, visit the dialogue

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