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 American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
In a recent survey APTA conducted of its members, in conjunction with a new veterans outreach program sponsored by the association, a combined 68% 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% of the public transit systems surveyed and 11% have instituted their own outreach programs. Additionally, 16% of systems surveyed regularly participate in job fairs targeted at veterans, and 8% 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.