November 09, 2011

Wyden, Merkley Announce Transportation Grants to aid Veterans

Portland, OR – Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced today that transit districts in Lane County and the Portland Metropolitan Area have received separate grants totaling more than $1.4 million to improve transportation for veterans.

Lane Transit District will receive $1,088,000 and Tri-Met will receive $330,728 from the Federal Transit Administration’s Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative. In both cases, the money will be used to connect veterans and their families with better transportation options and to improve call center and dispatching capabilities.

“Transportation is a key issue for our returning troops and their families,” said Senator Wyden, who wrote a letter in support of the grants. “Without it, long commutes that eat up tight family budgets will hinder attempts to find work or access medical care.”

“During this week of honor for our veterans, I’m pleased that this additional funding is being awarded to help better serve veterans in the Portland and Eugene regions,” said Senator Merkley, who also supported the grants. “Our veterans have stood up for us while serving their country, and we must stand up for them when they come home. That includes helping our veterans with transportation to medical appointments, classes and job opportunities.”  

The grants are part a new Federal Transit Authority initiative that will invest $34.6 million in 55 different "one-click, one-call" transportation resource centers across the country, bringing more transportation choices and better job access to a very special group of Americans—our military heroes, veterans, wounded warriors, and their families.

The projects funded by this initiative will bridge the transportation gap by helping states and communities build or expand centers that offer information on local transportation options by phone or internet.