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Council approves new life for retired vans

Summary

Vanpool vehicles will provide transportation options to organizations throughout King County

Story


Instead of a life of leisure, more than two dozen King County “retirees” are getting ready for a second career of helping take county residents to events, medical appointments and field trips. The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved the donation of 27 retired Metro Vanpool vans to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs senior citizens and young adults.

“As non-profits struggle in this economy, these vans provide an important safety net,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, the sponsor of the ordinance. “These vans will be a valuable transit option for many organizations throughout King County.”

The retired vans have been part of Metro Transit’s vanpool fleet for at least six years and have reached the end of their service life. When the vans reach this age, they are considered surplus and sold.

“In the ultimate act of recycling, local nonprofits stretch every bit of useful life out of these vans in service of vulnerable populations,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “With the difficult economy, now more than ever, I am hearing from organizations that they will be able to put these vans to great use.”

“Over the years, van donations have helped our citizens in a variety of ways such as offering transportation options for senior citizens, creating transit options in areas like Skykomish which has no bus service, and helping connect children to tutoring services,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “The donation of these vans maximizes our resources and meaningfully assists our community organizations and citizens in need.”

“These vehicles have become invaluable to the groups that receive them because they provide options,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “They are a lifeline to the senior that needs to go to the doctor or the youth group that wants to take their kids on a trip.”

Since 1995, the County Council has been donating retired vans from Metro’s Vanpool program to local nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and senior citizens. The groups are responsible for licensing, insuring and maintaining the vehicles.

“King County’s retired van donation program is a terrific way for the county to assist those non-profit organizations who play a vital role in elevating the quality of life throughout our region,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer.

“These community organizations are reaching out to people who need something most of us take for granted - basic mobility. That is priceless,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “I am just glad that we can put retired county resources to valuable use through these generous, effective groups so they can continue to provide transportation services to those in need.”

The Vanpool program provides mobility for a diverse array of King County residents, supports the positive work of various local organizations, and relieves traffic congestion by reducing the need for single-occupancy vehicles. Interested organizations can contact the Councilmember representing their district for more information on applying for a vehicle.



For the list of organizations receiving vehicles click here
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206-296-1024
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206-296-0198