- Author: Sage Kashner
- Date: November 7, 2023
This job means a lot to me. It’s more than a job: This saves lives. It doesn’t matter how hard the day is, I’m proud of what we do.
Oregon State Transportation and Mobility for Veterans
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -- John F. Kennedy
It was in the spirit of John F. Kennedy’s words that a meeting was held in Portland, Oregon. An Issue Focus Meeting was held to more than express words of gratitude, but to improve transportation services that are available to Veterans.
NCMM facilitates Issue Focused Meetings for mobility management practitioners and their community partners for the purpose of adopting a customer-centered approach in the design and coordination of transportation services. A group representing transit agencies, mobility managers, travel trainers and veteran’s service providers came together at the Region 1 Oregon Department of Transportation offices to explore ways to collaborate and improve transportation services to veterans.
Bryan Simpson, Veterans Travel Trainer from Rogue Valley Transportation and Jason Jones, Mobility Manager for Sunset Empire Transportation District, contacted NCMM seeking help in coordinating with other providers in the state of Oregon to improve transportation services available for veterans. Portland was chosen as the location and an effort was made to reach out to others seeking to address the issue.
As we started our day with coffee and bagels, we looked at maps created from NCMM/PolicyMap that identified where the veterans resided and key locations they needed to travel to across the state.
The group shared promising programs that they were aware of that worked well. Highlighted with Bryan sharing details of the “Go Vets Oregon” program. Go Vets Oregon makes it easier for veterans to get around and access services. While there are many services for veterans, getting to and from these services can be a challenge. Go Vets Oregon’s primary mission is to increase veteran access to medical appointments and support services in rural communities across Oregon by promoting and facilitating carpooling. The Go Vets Network is a dedicated online ride board for veterans. Veterans can find rides to destinations offered by other vets and allies.
After more sharing of successful efforts during lunch, the group came back together and identified strategies for improving transportation services available to veterans in the state. Crystal Hall from the Umpqua Public Transportation District stated “a lot of great information was shared and she was looking forward to seeing what could be accomplished.”
It was decided that the collaboration would be more effective by increasing in size. Consistent communication between those in attendance as well as reaching out to recruit others to participate in regularly scheduled remote meetings was needed and would be planned quarterly. The day ended with the group establishing a “Oregon State Veterans Transportation and Mobility” MyNCMM group on the NCMM website. This would serve as the platform for the group to continue to share ideas, expand interest and recruit new members to join the effort.
As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” If you would like to be a part of the Oregon State Veterans Transportation and Mobility group, contact Bryan Simpson, firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason Jones, email@example.com. You can also contact Bill Wagner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have more mobility news that we should be reading and sharing? Let us know! Reach out to Sage Kashner (email@example.com).
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