United States Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Puget Sound Health Care System

Transportation

Your referring VA will provide the travel arrangements to Seattle once your appointments have been scheduled. Your VA travel department will contact you with your itinerary. If you drive, you need to contact them prior to leaving to arrange for mileage reimbursement.  You will be responsible for arranging and paying for your own daily transportation outside of medical appointments.

Taxi/Cab

VA Puget Sound will pay for your initial taxicab ride from the Seattle/Tacoma Airport to the medical center and to the MTU apartments.

To get the taxi: 
- Call VA Puget Sound’s travel desk upon your arrival at (206) 764-2120 (normal business hours) and 206-764-2810 (evenings, and weekends).
- Request that VA dispatch a taxi to the airport to pick you up.
- Verify which taxi company will be transporting you and ask where you should wait.
- The taxi driver will be told by their dispatcher that the VA will pay the fare.

If you pay the taxi driver directly yourself, VA will have great difficulty reimbursing you. (If the driver is unaware of this policy ask him/her to verify it with their taxi company dispatch office.) 

Please note: Taxi rides are NOT provided for the caregiver if the patient is admitted to the hospital. Patients/caregivers/donors are provided taxi rides for medical appointments only, all other transportation needs are the responsibility of the patients/caregivers/donors.  The patient/donor must be in the taxi for the caregiver to have a 'free ride.'  When patients are inpatient, caregivers are NOT provided taxi service.

Patients are not medically cleared to drive after receiving chemotherapy and while still in Seattle. We recommend that the caregiver do the driving following transplant. It is best if the rental car is obtained in the caregiver's name. 

Bus Pass:

Prior to transplant you may ride public transportation. After chemotherapy begins the use of public transportation poses danger from exposure to germs.

Patients can apply for a Regional Reduced Fare Permit if disabled. There is a $3.00 processing fee to apply and the cost is either $.75 per trip or you can purchase a monthly pass. Caregivers may ride the bus for free as long as they are accompanying the patient. Riding the bus is discouraged after receiving chemotherapy because of risk of exposures to airborne and contact pathogens.

If you plan to use the bus, you can obtain the application for a disabled bus pass from German Moya, Jr., MTU (Social Work Assistant) SWA or Cathy Blanchard upon your arrival in Seattle and submit it to the Metro Office. Their phone number for assistance is (206) 553-3000 or you can check information online at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/*.

Rental car:

If you choose to rent a car, ask about monthly rates, caps on the number of miles you can drive and if there are discounts available. Some agencies will also offer to transport you to their office to complete the paperwork and pick up the car and it is generally less expensive to rent from an office that is not located at the airport.

It is strongly recommended that reservations or plans for your daily transportation be made in advance of your arrival in Seattle. You should also consult with your insurance company about coverage for a rental car.

Choose the smallest car available (if driving to Seattle, bring a small car), because the parking spaces at the apartments are very hard to fit larger cars. 

For directions to the Seattle Division, go here.

Please Note: After the transplant, when medically cleared for discharge, the patient will NOT be able to drive or be a passenger for long distances. The patient will need to fly home accompanied by another individual. If you choose to drive home you will be asked to sign a document taking full legal and financial responsibility and acknowledging that you are doing so against medical advice.

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