On November 21, 2022, the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services (DVS) announced that they have brought back a free transportation service for veterans in rural counties of New Mexico. DVS halted this program because of irregularities in financial reporting by transportation companies to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This transportation service will provide veterans in Torrance County(1) with rides to and from VA medical appointments. “We’re excited to once again provide this free transportation service for veterans to use for their VA medical appointments,” said DVS Healthcare Coordination Division Director Diane Mourning Brown. “Lack of transportation options should not be a reason for a veteran to neglect their health care needs. So we encourage veterans in these 15 counties to contact us and make an appointment for their free round-trip rides.”
To use this service, veterans need to contact the Highly Rural Veterans Transportation Program at 505-429-5906 at least three days prior to a VA appointment to schedule a ride. Drivers will take veterans to the medical appointment, and, importantly, stay on site during the duration of the appointment so that veterans do not have to wait for a driver's return. DVS representative Connie Vargas (firstname.lastname@example.org) can provide answers to questions regarding the program.
- Also affected: Veterans in Catron, Cibola, Colfax, De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Mora, Quay, San Miguel, Sierra, Socorro, and Union Counties.