Program Launched In Oakland Co To Provide Free Transit For Veterans

Metro Detroit Traffic And Transportation News & AnnouncementsPontiac, Mich. – Oakland County, in collaboration with SMART (Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation), is launching a groundbreaking pilot program aimed at providing free transit for veterans.

The transportation program will offer door-to-door service throughout Oakland County Monday-Friday between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Weekend transit services will vary by provider. The pilot program will run from June 1 to Aug. 31, or until the allocated funds are exhausted. Personal care assistants, widows and widowers of veterans may also ride for free. Veterans need only show their DD214, veterans ID from the Oakland County Clerk’s Office, or veteran designation on their driver’s license to get a ride. To schedule a trip, call 248-419-7984.

“This service is a small way that we can honor the huge sacrifice our veterans have made for all of us,” County Executive Dave Coulter said. “Veterans and their families can access essential services this summer without worrying about the financial cost of transportation.”

Funded by a $500,000 County Veterans Service Fund grant from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, with $28,000 earmarked for the pilot veterans’ transportation program, this initiative is expected to facilitate approximately 7,000 individual round trips.

To ensure comprehensive coverage across the county, SMART may collaborate with other transportation service providers, including NOTA (North Oakland Transportation Authority), WOTA (Western Oakland Transportation Authority), OPC (OPC Social & Activity Center Transportation), and PEX (People’s Express), utilizing a shared ride system. Transfer trips will be seamlessly integrated into the program, with charges being covered by the grant. Recognizing the diverse needs of veterans, the transportation service will also be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, ensuring accessibility for all individuals.

“We are incredibly proud to launch the veterans pilot program in partnership with Oakland County. This initiative ensures that veterans have the access and support they need,” said Dwight Ferrell, general manager of SMART. “It's more than just transportation; it's about empowering our veterans to connect with their communities and lead fuller, more engaged lives."

Oakland County is home to more than 50,000 veterans. This program represents a tangible expression of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. For information go to oakgov.com/veterans.

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