Transportation for Veterans
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides free van rides to and from Palo Alto VA Medical Center for Veterans who don’t have other transportation options. Find out how to schedule a DAV van ride. Other shuttle services are also available to transport Veterans and are listed below.
Changes to VA Palo Alto shuttle system
With transition of clinics, VA Palo Alto shuttles will no longer service the Stockton, Sonora, and Modesto clinics. If you choose to continue your care at Palo Alto or Livermore campuses, there are several options available.
- Veterans who are eligible for Beneficiary Travel can receive mileage reimbursement, regardless of which health care system they are visiting.
- Veterans who require wheelchair or gurney assistance can ask their primary care team to enter a special mode transportation consult.
- Those who are not eligible for Beneficiary Travel but need transportation assistance to VA Palo Alto campuses can use the Veteran Transportation Service. Call 650-496-2542, or email VTSPaloAlto@va.gov to schedule a ride. Please make sure to call at least 14 days in advance to schedule the ride.
- DAV van rides
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides free van rides to and from Palo Alto VA Medical Center for Veterans who don’t have other transportation options. Visit the DAV website to 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 Palo Alto 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.
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.
VA Palo Alto shuttle services
VA Palo Alto shuttle services provide free bus rides for Veterans to and from each medical center or clinic within our system. Please view the shuttle schedules below for details.
- Driver will need to see your VA ID card (last name and last four of social security number)
- Please be respectful of other riders and keep personal telephone calls to a minimum
- Luggage is NOT allowed on the shuttle (small backpacks are acceptable)
- Smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco consumption is NOT allowed on the shuttle
- Patients who behave in a threatening or inappropriate manner on the shuttle may be banned from using this service
- Do not stand or walk while the shuttle is in operation
- Music and other audible tone devices may only be used with headphones
- Spouses and medical escorts must be 18 years or older to ride the shuttle and may only ride if space is available. They must also have a valid photo ID.
All arrival times are approximate and can be affected by traffic or weather.
Other Veteran shuttle services
Veterans Transportation Service (VTS)
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.
Call VTS 7 to 10 business days in advance at 650-496-2542 to request transportation (requests are subject to resource availability).
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 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)