While Veterans' Day is observed Nov. 11, public transportation systems across America are working daily to assist the nation’s returning veterans, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). From serving as their primary mode of travel to offering a long-term career path, public transportation is providing assistance in their return to civilian life, according to the association.
In a recent survey APTA conducted of its members, in conjuction with a new veterans outreach program sponsored by the association, a combined 68 percent of public transit systems provide service to Veterans Administration Hospital facilities. From fixed route service to demand response, the survey revealed public transportation provides a way for veterans to get to their doctors on a regular basis.
The survey showed that public transit systems and businesses that support the transit industry also are reaching out to veterans upon their return for employment. Even before the industry kicks off its new veterans initiative, there are active targeted hiring programs in place for veterans in 22 percent of the public transit systems surveyed and 11 percent have instituted their own outreach programs. Additionally, 16 percent of systems surveyed regularly participate in job fairs targeted at veterans, and 8 percent work with outside organizations to attract and recruit veterans.
“This survey reflects what I have seen in my travels and meetings with public transit systems across the country,” said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. “Public transportation is a great career path and a welcoming community for our returning veterans. I only see potential for growth in this area as we work to implement new ways to serve and create opportunities for veterans in our industry.”
APTA members are continuing to find new opportunities and benefits for veterans. They have participated in a range of activities including: free rides, job fairs, and partnerships with advertisers that offer giveaways to veterans. Additionally, there will be new programs implemented throughout the coming year.
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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.