The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously approved sending more than two dozen King County “retirees” to second careers of helping transport county residents. The Council adopted a motion donating 27 retired Metro Vanpool vans to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.
“St. Elizabeth—formally the Enumclaw Regional Health Center—provides important services to the citizens in and around Enumclaw,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “I am proud to be able to assist this worthy organization with a new van that will help them better serve the surrounding community.”
“The Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been taking care of healthcare needs on the Plateau for 30 years,” said Rene Popke, Executive Director. “We are excited to receive assistance from King County so we can continue to increase our Care Van service to plateau residents. Thank you King County and Councilmember Dunn for the support and for implementing the recycled van program. Plateau residents truly will benefit from this donation to our organization.”
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 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. 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.