Commissioners OK veterans shuttle to Baltimore, Frederick

The Board of County Commissioners this week approved creation of a shuttle bus service to transport veterans from two locations in Carroll County to Veterans Administration hospitals in Baltimore City and Frederick.

The commissioners voted 4-0 on a measure proposed by Board President Doug Howard. In addition to Howard, commissioners Robin Frazer, Haven Shoemaker and David Rous voted in favor. Commissioner Richard Rothschild was absent.

The Veterans Shuttle Service will operate three days a week and will begin on Nov. 13. Riders will be able to board the shuttle at either TownMall in Westminster or Carrolltown Center in Eldersburg. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the shuttle will go to the VA facility on Green Street in Baltimore, and on Wednesdays the shuttle will go to Fort Detrick in Frederick.

The commissioners said it will be funded by $25,000 from the county, and also through a New Freedom Grant that was awarded to the county's CATS shuttle bus service. The funding will last through the end of fiscal year 2013

Howard said he became aware of the issue of veterans' transportation during a meeting of the Commissioner on Aging. As a result he met with Louise Tinkler, the director of CATS, Frank Valenti, director of the Department of Social Services and Mike Sater, adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans, to discuss options.

Howard said, "providing this shuttle service to get (veterans) access to the proper medical care to which they're entitled is the least we can do as a community."

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