Council approves transfer of surplus vanpool van to organizations
throughout King County
Two dozen recently “retired” King County employees are preparing for a future of helping meet the transportation needs of county residents. The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously adopted a motion transferring retired Metro Vanpool vans to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.“As it has for twenty years, the van donation program provides an opportunity for County resources to continue their service to residents,” said Council Chair Joe McDermott. “I’m glad that we can support these non-profit organizations in the important work that they do every day across King County.”
“This program is mutually beneficial for all those involved. Retired vans get a second life and organizations who receive them get the chance to continue their important work and improve the services they are able to offer,” said Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn.
“It is very rewarding to be given the opportunity to support such wonderful organizations, and to know that the vans are going to be put to good use serving our community,” said Council Vice Chair Rod Dembowski.
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 by the County.
“The four agencies receiving this year’s vans reflect organizations that serve diverse populations in District two from seniors, youth, people of color and homeless people,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “I am glad that King County can continue to assist these agencies to carry out their missions and to provide services, especially to the populations most in need.”
“I’m very pleased that we are able to donate these gently-used vans to deserving groups across the county,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I know they’ll be well-used and valued for many years and will often make the difference in whether people can access needed services.”
In 1996, the Council made its first donation of surplus vans. In 20 years, more than 500 retired vans have been transferred to local nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and senior citizens.
“Twenty years ago, I introduced legislation to ‘recycle’ retired vans and help fill a community need,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “As a result, hundreds of non-profit organizations in King County have been able to provide transportation assistance to people with a wide range of needs. I am proud of the legacy of this program and I know that it will continue to be a critical lifeline to improve the quality of life for our neighbors in King County.”
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.
“These non-profits do incredible work on behalf of our community and I am glad to be able to provide them with a necessary means of transportation to continue their good work,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles. “I look forward to seeing these vans in action across District Four and elsewhere in the coming months!”
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.
The organizations, agencies and governments receiving vans:
Alajawan Brown Foundation
Auburn Food Bank
Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue
Boys and Girls Clubs of King County – Federal Way Branch
Filipino Community of Seattle
G.E.M. Glover Empower Mentoring Program
International Drop-In Center
Life Enrichment Options
Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)
Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club
Mount Rainier Christian Center
Overlake Christian Church (2 vans)
Rite of Passage Journeys
Salish Sea Expeditions
Seattle's Union Gospel Mission
SHARE (Seattle Housing And Resource Effort)
South Park Senior Citizens
Tahoma Middle School SAIL Program
Technology Access Foundation
Therapeutic Health Services
Ukrainian Community Center of Washington
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
Urban Family Center Association
Valley Cities Counseling
World Relief Seattle
YWCA Passage Point