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Council recognizes program supplying retired County vans to organizations throughout the region

Summary

Close to 500 vans donated since creation of program

Story

Since 1996, organizations and governments in King County have benefitted from the second career of close to 500 County “retirees.” The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized the program that transfers retired Metro Vanpool vans to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.

“These retired Metro vans are being put to good use in our community serving people with a wide range of needs. While no longer cost-effective for Metro to use, I am happy to know that non-profit organizations throughout King County put them to good use every day,” said Council Chair Larry Phillips. “Visiting the organizations that receive the retired vans and speaking to folks about how the vans serve their use continues to be a highlight of each year.”

“In 1996, I introduced legislation which transferred used passenger vans to nonprofit organizations and local governments that meet the needs of low-income, elderly, disabled and young people in our community,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, the sponsor of the motion that created the van donation program. “Retired vans will continue to provide critical lifelines to local nonprofits, and improve the quality of life for many of our region’s residents.”

Since the adoption of the motion, the County Council has transferred close to 500 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 the Councilmember representing their district for more information on applying for a vehicle.

Interested organizations can contact the Councilmember in their district for more information on the van program.


 

RECOGNITION 

 

WHEREAS, for two decades, the donation of “retired” vans from the King County Metro Van Pool has been a great boon to many county organizations providing transportation for the disabled, low-income, youth, and seniors; and

WHEREAS, these 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 of seven years, when they are donated or sold; and

WHEREAS, the 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; and

WHEREAS, the program benefits the County’s transportation system by reducing single-occupant vehicle travel and meeting the need for some trips that would otherwise require the use of County-operated services such as the bus, ACCESS paratransit, and vanpool, thus balancing the revenue foregone by not selling the vans; and

WHEREAS, this program was begun in the mid-1990s through an ordinance sponsored by then Budget and Fiscal Management Committee Chair, Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer who saw the retired vans as an opportunity to recycle them and to serve a community need; and

WHEREAS, agencies and organizations that receive the vans must meet specific requirements, and interested organizations can contact the Councilmember representing their district for more information on applying for a vehicle; and

WHEREAS, since 1996, the County Council has transferred close to 500 retired vans to over 300 local nonprofit organizations benefiting the transportation needs of tens of thousands of county residents and meeting needs of deserving groups;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, hereby recognize the

 RETIRED VAN DONATION PROGRAM

and the benefits it has brought to numerous community organizations and residents in King County.

DATED this eighth day of June, 2015.

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Fax:
206-296-0198