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Gaston ACCESS Bus System Available for Vets' VA Appointments

GASTONIA, N.C. – As the VA has restarted in-patient appointments at many of its facilities this month, Gaston County is resuming its service to veterans in need of transportation to those facilities.

The Veterans Services Office announced Friday that it is resuming ACCESS bus service (in coordination with a partner service in Mecklenburg County) for veterans with medical appointments at VA Medical Center – Salisbury, the Charlotte VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic and the Charlotte VA Health Care Center. This service has been on hiatus since mid-March, when the VA announced it was suspending most “non-essential” patient appointments.

Those seeking to use the service should be aware of some new restrictions, due to COVID-19. Due to social distancing, there will be fewer seats available on each bus, making it important for veterans to reserve their seat as soon as they know of their appointment. A minimum of five business days advance notice is required to reserve a seat. Veterans who need assistance are allowed to travel with one companion, but must RSVP for that individual as well.

Anyone riding on an ACCESS bus will be required to wear a face covering for the duration of the trip.

All appointments for those needing ACCESS services must be scheduled for the morning. ACCESS can only provide transportation for appointments completed by 1 p.m., which is when they will depart from the facilities to return patients back to Gaston County.

ACCESS will run routes to Salisbury on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with service to the two VA facilities in Charlotte five days a week.

Those with questions about the resumption of ACCESS bus service for veterans – or to RSVP for an appointment – can call the Gaston County VSO at (704) 866-3606.