As of 2014, approximately 3
million veterans who lived in rural areas of the country were enrolled in the VA health system. Veterans
have increased health
needs, including higher prevalence of diabetes, cancer, COPD, and PTSD compared to non-veterans, and may
need to travel to specific locations like VA hospitals to receive healthcare services. Some veterans have to
travel far distances and many hours from their rural home to their nearest VA hospital or clinic.
Veterans living in rural areas may face several barriers to receiving care as
they are more likely to be over the age of 65 and may face financial challenges that make travel
costs for healthcare appointments burdensome. Longer distances to healthcare facilities in rural
areas also means veterans may not have immediate access to all types of healthcare providers,
There are programs dedicated to veterans that focus on transportation. These include:
coordinate transportation services
for different populations and have been used to help meet the health and transit needs of veterans.
Managers of the Veterans Transportation Service coordinate payments for transportation services
to veterans, collaborate with other local organizations to fulfill veterans' transportation needs,
and determine the most appropriate transportation option for veterans in their care.
Resources to Learn More
Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for
Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families
Comprehensive report providing detailed guidance on current status of transportation programs and
describes the process of transportation program planning for veterans and military service
Author(s): Ellis, E., Menninger, H., Glauthier, R., et al.
Organization(s): Transit Cooperative Research Program
Veterans Transportation Program and Veterans
Lists the transportation programs offered to U.S. veterans through the U.S. Department of Veterans
Affairs. These include the Veterans Transportation Service, the Beneficiary Travel program, and the
Highly Rural Transportation Grants.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs