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VA Caribbean Healthcare System

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Welcome to the VA Caribbean Healthcare System

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Honoring America’s Veterans with quality health care services, part of the largest integrated health care ...

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Transit, Mass Transportation Program with Environment in Mind

Transit, Mass Transportation

Transit, Mass Transportation Program

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Transit, Mass Transportation Program

Transit, Mass Transportation Program with Environment in Mind

Story by Elga Albino Acosta, VA Caribbean Healthcare System, Public Affairs Office Volunteer

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The Department of Veterans Affairs established in October 2000 the Transit and Mass Transportation Benefit Program nationwide with the main purpose to create awareness and preserving the environment by reducing pollution, traffic congestion and expand transportation alternatives.

In order to comply with the national mandate, the Veterans Affairs Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS) established the benefit for its employees by combining the train and public transportation system, thus avoiding environmental damages created by the carbon dioxide and reducing the amount of vehicles transiting the roads.

According to an article at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDT) website, carbon dioxide makes up 95 percent of all transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks running on conventional gasoline, diesel, and other fuels emit carbon dioxide. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation will likely require a broad range of strategies, including increasing vehicle efficiency, lowering the carbon content of fuels, and reducing vehicle miles of travel.

“For the past 15 years, I have been using the transit benefit. It’s been a great benefit because it takes 18 minutes to arrive to my workplace. The benefit has been helpful since I don’t have to depend on my car to get to work and spend money on fuel and put additional wear and tear on my car,” said Wilson Caban, human resources specialist supervisor, VACHS.

Public transportation can be one part of the solution to improve the environment. The environmental benefits of public transportation vary based on the number of passengers per vehicle, more passengers that are riding a bus or train, the lower the emissions per passenger mile. National averages demonstrate that public transportation produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than private vehicles.

“Mostly all the employees who use the train are fascinated with the service. Some of them live in areas close to where the train provides service. This service improve the employees quality of life by relieving the stress of not having to drive through traffic jams in order to get to work,” said Emily Guadalupe, travel benefit program manager, VACHS.

“The “Tren Urbano” system is excellent and counts with contingency plans should the electricity fails. Their system has an immediate and reliable solution with their bus transportation system and for sure I will make it to work,” said Caban.

All in all, the “Tren Urbano” rail system in Puerto Rico is powered by electricity which produces lower emissions than riding a car, bus or a SUV. Light rail systems produce 62 percent less greenhouse gas emissions per passen­ger mile than and bus transit produces 33 percent less. The climate is changing every day, lowering the greenhouse effect will help reducing the global warming that is taking its toll in every aspect of our daily lives.

Currently, an average of 420 VACHS employees benefit from the mass transportation benefit program.

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VA Caribbean Healthcare System

10 Casia Street
San Juan, PR 00921
787-641-7582 | 800-449-8729 Directions

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Telephone Care:

  • 877-737-8820
  • 787-641-7582 x25800
    Care Line - M-F 7:30am - 6:30pm
    Saturday - 7:30am - 4:00pm
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