Providing transportation options in District 9
StoryMetropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn’s delivery of a surplus King County Metro van to Vine Maple Place of Maple Valley means there are three newly “retired” vans serving communities in County Council District 9.
Vine Maple Place has been an integral part of the Greater Maple Valley area since 2000 and assists families in crisis build lives of hope. “Extending the lives of these vans helps organizations like Vine Maple extend the services they can offer,” said Dunn. “The work they do is invaluable to their community and I am pleased to play a role in assisting their efforts.
|Councilmember Reagan Dunn is joined by Michelle Frets, Director of Programs and Case Manager Kyle Serquinia for the delivery of a surplus County Vanpool Van to the agency|
Vine Maple Place provides a safe home for families with children as they work to overcome the trauma of homelessness, abuse, domestic violence, and other difficult life situations. They work to bring a family to financial and housing stability and integrate families back into the community through accountability and structured guidance.
“It was wonderful to have Councilmember Dunn come to Vine Maple Place today and hand over the keys to a van that will make all the difference in the world in how we continue to serve our community. This van is a blessing and we are grateful,” said Michelle Frets, Vine Maple Place Associate Executive Director. “Thank you for this important tool to help families build stability.”
The van delivered to Vine Maple Place will join surplus vans that were presented to the Black Diamond Community Center and the City of Enumclaw Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department this spring.
The Black Diamond Community Center offers social, recreational, and emergency programs targeted at seniors, families, and the youth of the greater Black Diamond Community area. It’s being used to take kids on weekly field trips and transport seniors to doctor appointments and to pick up food and medications.
“Summer is coming, and our van will get a workout,” said Cheryl Hanson, the Executive Director of the Center. “We’re the only affordable childcare program in our area, so the van will be taking kids to a number of summer activities. After the center closes, the van will assist in providing transportation for the seniors in our community.”
The City of Enumclaw’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services offer a full slate of activities and services to enhance your quality of life and believe that quality of life in the Enumclaw community is improved through recreational opportunities. The van is getting ready to shuttle summer youth day camp program participants to local parks and recreation sites.
“Giving people who have limited transportation options the ability to go to an event or get to the services they need is vital,” said City Administrator Chris Searcy. “For youth and seniors, this van is the difference for between having to miss out on an activity or being able to go out and have fun.”
“All of the organizations that have received these vans do important work in SE King County,” said Dunn. “The vehicles allow them to continue that work and improve the services they are able to offer.”
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.
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 at 206-477-1009 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on applying for a vehicle.