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Council approves “retired” County van for Vision House of Renton

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Renton’s Vision House, which provides transitional housing, support services and child care for homeless mothers and their children as well as assisting homeless men recovering from substance abuse, will be the new home for one of King County’s newest “retirees.” The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved the handover of retired Metro vans to the organization as well as other groups throughout the County to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.

“Vision House of Renton provides important services to women and mothers in the city of Renton and the region,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn, who donated the van to organization. “I am honored to be able to support this organization with a van that will help them attend to the needs of the people they are there to serve.”

“The gift of this van comes at a critical time for our residents,” said Sarah ButlerWills, Vision House Family Services Manager. “With the summer months almost here, we need safe, reliable transportation for the children to summer camps, meetings and field trips. We are so grateful to King County and Councilmember Dunn for nominating us for such a nice vehicle for our Vision House kids!”

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. The vehicles that are not donated are sold.

Since 1996, 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. Governments, agencies and organizations that receive the vans must meet specific requirements:

• Capacity to support ongoing van operation, including assured funding for licensing, insuring, fueling and maintaining the van;
• Ability to provide qualified and trained drivers;
• Specific plans for use of the van to transport low-income, elderly or young people or people with disabilities, and assurance that the use shall be available to those persons without regard to affiliation with any particular organization;
• Ability to support county's public transportation function by reducing single occupancy vehicle trips, pollution and traffic congestion; supplementing services provided by the county's paratransit system and increasing the mobility for the transit-dependent for whom regular transit might not always be a convenient option.

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 Councilmember Dunn for more information on applying for a vehicle.



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