Transportation for Veterans
The Volunteer Transportation Network provides free van rides to and from Michael E. DeBakey Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston to Veterans who don’t have other transportation options. Find out how to schedule a van ride.
About VTN services
VTN 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 Texas. Each month, between 1,500 and 1,700 Veterans receive VTN transportation.
Arrange a ride
If you’d like to find out more about VTN availability in your area, contact the Voluntary Service Office.
Please note that VTN 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.
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.
Guidelines for using VTN vans
VTN 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 VTN 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 VTN 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 VTN 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 VTN Transportation Network will not be eligible to receive reimbursement for travel expenses.
(M-1, Part 1, Chapter 25, July 8, 1991)