Donated vanpool vehicles will provide transportation options to organizations throughout King County
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 people.
“Putting our retired Vanpool vans to use for community organizations is the ultimate form of recycling,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, chair of the Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee. “These vans have been used to deliver meals to homeless, transport at-risk youth to after school programs, provide mobility to low income seniors, and many more good services for those most in need.”
“The Council’s successful van donation program assists local organizations and supports the services they provide to King County residents,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson.
“For their many contributions to our community, we owe these outstanding non-profit organizations our support,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “The Council’s van donation program helps bridge the transportation gap between these organizations and the more vulnerable populations they serve, providing access to medical appointments, educational field trips, job training and more.”
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.
“I look forward to the van donation program each year,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “It is a small way to support and thank the non-profit agencies that work so hard to provide for the needs that exist out in our communities. King County’s retired vans will supply these agencies with greater resources to carry out their missions.”
“It’s wonderful that these vans can have a second-life helping those in need,” said Council Vice-Chair Jane Hague. “Not only is it a neat idea, but it demonstrates a type of pragmatic frugality that King County should continue to embrace.”
“Our van donation program is the ideal recycling program that benefits youth and senior programs throughout King County,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “Without the donations, many programs would have to scale back valuable services that enhance the well being of our constituents.”
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.
“This is an amazing program that really makes the most of the county’s resources. By donating the vans, they continue to serve the public in their new life with these non-profit organizations,” said Councilmember Jan Drago.
“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. “I know the vans will have a fulfilling retirement transporting those who need them the most.”
“As the county makes major funding cuts for human services, these retired vans are one way we still can support non-profit organizations that meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert . “I am pleased that these vans will continue to be put to good uses.”
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.
Agencies receiving retired vanpool vans
Alliance of People with disAbilities
Auburn School District #408
Auburn Youth Resources
Boys and Girls Club of King County—Southwest Branch
Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue
Children’s Garden School (2 vans)
City of Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation
City of Shoreline
Community Psychiatric Clinic: Project THRIVE
Douglas Youth Golf Club
El Centro de la Raza
Friends of Youth
High Road Community Church
Kirkland Boys and Girls Club
Lucy Lopez Community Center
Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club
Phinney Neighborhood Association
PROVAIL: Traumatic Brain Injury Clubhouse
Reality Sports Foundation
Salvation Army Renton
Seattle Union Gospel Mission
Southeast Youth and Family Services
White Center Food Bank
The adopted motion advances the Council’s priority of Local and Regional Cooperation.