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Bowser Administration and Via Expand VetsRide Program to Assist DC Veterans Impacted by COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA), the District’s Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) and Via Transportation have expanded VetsRide, an on-demand transportation program that provides District veterans with annual incomes of less than $30,000 with monthly ride vouchers.

As of April 2020, VetsRide eligibility has been expanded to include DC veterans, who are recently unemployed. Ride vouchers have been increased from four  to 10 vouchers per month, with the option of rolling over any unused voucher into the following month. VetsRide destinations include health and housing appointments, food distribution sites, grocery stores, pharmacies, educational opportunities, and employment.

“All DC veterans deserve a pathway to the middle class and access to their federal benefits. During this unprecedented time, VetsRide will act as an essential service that provides private and safe transportation to medical appointments, food distribution sites and several other opportunities,” said Elliot Tommingo, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs.

Qualified veterans can book these rides directly through the Via mobile app, or by contacting the call-center at 301-822-2429. Trips are permitted Monday thru Friday from 6:00 am – 10:00 pm, within the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

DFHV and MOVA will allocate $10,000 in administration fees to purchase hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, and personal protective equipment needed to keep customers and drivers safe during the COVID-19 emergency and recovery period. There will also be an increase in the rider cap from $13 to $17, with the four dollar increase going exclusively to drivers providing services.

“During this public health emergency, Mayor Bowser is committed to ensuring our veterans are able to get to vital services,” said David Do, Director of the Department of For-Hire Vehicles. “DFHV is working with Via to support the efforts of MOVA to provide access to health care, education and other opportunities for our Veterans.”

“We are proud to partner with Mayor Bowser, the Mayor’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs, and the Department of For-Hire Vehicles to support our nation’s Veterans on this important initiative,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “Access to mobility, in particular for medical care, is critical now more than ever, and we are proud to continue to provide Veterans with cost-efficient, on-demand transportation through the VetsRide program.”

DC veterans can enroll in the VetsRide program Monday – Thursday, from 10am – 4pm, by calling 202-724-4010. For further information regarding MOVA programs and services visit ova.dc.gov.  

For more information on the District’s COVID-19 response, visit coronavirus.dc.gov.