Transportation for Veterans
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides free van rides to and from Fort Meade VA Medical Center and Hot Springs VA Medical Center in the western South Dakota region to Veterans who don’t have other transportation options. Find out how to schedule a DAV van ride.
About DAV services
DAV van resources work with county Veterans Affairs directors to provide transportation for Veterans to and from Veteran health care centers for scheduled medical appointments.
These vans transport Veterans throughout the western South Dakota area. Each month, between 1,500 and 1,700 Veterans receive DAV transportation.
Arrange a ride
If you’d like to schedule a DAV van ride, contact the hospital service coordinator who serves your county.
Fort Meade VA Medical Center
113 Comanche Road
Fort Meade, SD 57741
Map of Fort Meade campus
Phone: 605-347-2511, ext. 17065
Please note that DAV vans can only provide rides to ambulatory passengers (passengers who are able to move around without the driver’s help). For information on accessible transportation options, review our other Veteran shuttle services.
Guidelines for using DAV vans
DAV van passengers are expected to follow certain guidelines, established by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the DAV National Headquarters. These guidelines include the following:
- All riders must be ambulatory (able to board and exit the van without the driver’s help).
- The DAV van driver is only allowed to stop the van for rest stops, emergencies, and to pick up and drop off passengers. Passengers should not ask the driver to make side trips to take care of their personal business.
- Passengers are not permitted to smoke, chew tobacco, drink alcohol, use foul language, or bring weapons, drugs, or any illegal substance on the van. Van drivers are not required to provide transportation to any Veteran who is intoxicated, abusive, or who poses a threat to the driver or other passengers.
- Passengers should not do anything to distract the driver.
- Passengers should wear seatbelts at all times. Any passenger who refuses to wear a seatbelt will be denied transportation.
- If a Veteran needs another individual (for example, a caregiver) to ride in the van with them, they need to get authorization from their VA attending physician or VA-certified nurse practitioner.
- Veterans being discharged or granted passes can ride on a DAV van during the van's trip back to its home county only if space is available. The Veteran must be ready to leave when the van leaves the VA medical center.
- Veterans should be dressed and ready to leave for the hospital at the time specified. Drivers can’t wait for Veterans who aren’t ready to leave at the appointed time.
- Veterans can only bring with them items that they can hold on their lap or store under the seat.
- The DAV van is not an emergency vehicle. The driver may refuse to transport any Veteran who appears to be too ill to ride the van.
- Veterans who use the DAV Transportation Network will not be eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses.
(M-1, Part 1, Chapter 25, July 8, 1991)
Veteran Transportation Service
VA recognizes Veterans who are visually impaired, elderly, or immobilized due to disease or disability, and particularly those living in remote and rural areas face challenges traveling to their VA health care appointments. Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) is working to establish Mobility Managers at each local VA facility to help Veterans meet their transportation needs.
VTS has established a network of transportation options for Veterans through joint efforts with VA’s Office of Rural Health and organizations, such as Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs); community transportation providers; federal, state and local government transportation agencies; non-profits and Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) grantees.
How to Apply
Veterans who are eligible for VA health care benefits and have a VA-authorized appointment are eligible for transportation through the VTS program based on the availability and guidelines in place at their local facility. Each local VA authorized facility has ridership guidelines based on their capabilities.
Participating VA medical centers (VAMCs) offer VTS to assist Veterans in accessing transportation to VA medical facilities or authorized non-VA appointments to receive the care they have earned. Find a VTS office near you.
Other Veteran Shuttle Services
Other Veteran-specific transportation services, including buses, shuttles, and wheelchair-accessible transport, are available to patients. Please contact these providers directly to schedule a ride.
Phone: 605-347-2511, ext. 17550
Local transportation options
Many medical centers and clinics are also served by other local transportation services. To find those, review the transportation services information for the facility you want to visit.