The day before Veterans Day, senators Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin announced $493,325 in grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide transportation for wounded soldiers. The Illinois Department of Transportation is getting $362,000, and the rest is going to Lee County.
The state will use the money to design a “one call, one click” website that will connect veterans specialized transit, intercity bus and rail, and ride-sharing services. Lee County’s iVET (Invested in Veterans Transportation) will create a single information source and scheduling point for five area transportation services.
Many veterans live in rural areas where public transportation is scant, so this money will make it easier for them to get to jobs, buy groceries and receive medical treatment.
“At a time when our veterans are facing record unemployment, it is critical we provide the resources they need,” Kirk said. “IDOT’s ‘one click transportation website’ will improve access their access to public transportation and is a small way to say ‘thank you’ to those who wore the uniform.”
Said Durbin: “Our nation’s veterans and their families have sacrificed to protect us at home and abroad. As Congress works to ensure that returning heroes can find good-paying jobs, this funding will help make it easier for them to get to and from work, receive high-quality care for their injuries, and help them with their daily activities. We still have more work to do, but today’s announcement is just one way for us to give back to those who have sacrificed so much.”
Illinois’s money is part of $35 million distributed nationwide as part of The Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative.
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