Proposal aims to make getting veterans to doctors visits easier

Proposal would let veterans travel to and from medical appointments for free

BOSTON (WWLP) – While many of us take transportation for granted, many veterans rely on public transit to get to doctors appointments and medical care.

Westfield Representative John Velis filed a bill to ensure veterans living in western Massachusetts get to their appointments free of charge.

The state’s Veterans and Federal Affairs Committee heard from the public on Thursday on several bills to assist veterans with housing, employment and transportation.

Velis’s proposal would allow western Massachusetts service men and women to use Pioneer Valley Transit Authority buses for free to travel to and from medical appointments.

He told 22News that many veterans have a difficult time finding transportation to get to appointments, especially those with mental health issues who need treatment.

“We have a lot of veterans, particularly in western Massachusetts who are living on fixed incomes, and can’t get to their appointments,” Velis explained. “So we need to do what we can to get to them to VA.”

There is no estimate yet for how much this proposal would cost the state.