Skip to main content

County employees sent into “working retirement”


Metropolitan King County
Council News

County employees sent into “working retirement”


Council approves transfer of surplus vanpool van to organizations throughout King County


They have been faithful county employees who have handled a number of tasks, but as of today, their future will focus on meeting the transportation needs of residents throughout King County. The Metropolitan King County Council gave its unanimous approval to a motion transferring three dozen recently “retired” King County Metro Vanpool vans to local governments and community programs to provide transportation assistance.

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. Vehicles that are not transfered are sold by the County.

In 1996, the Council made its first transfer of vans. Since then, councilmembers have provided the keys of more than 600 vehicles to local nonprofit organizations to assist in providing transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and seniors.

Governments, agencies and organizations receiving 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.




“A van is a small gift that can go a long way for the agencies that care for the most vulnerable among us. I am proud to support the crucial, life-giving work of those who serve our communities, day in and day out.”
--Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn

“Since first introducing the legislation to create the van transfer program 23 years ago, I have seen firsthand how well these vans serve those who need transportation access the most. King County’s van transfer program continues to be an example of government service at its very best.”
-- Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer

“These are vehicles that still have a lot of ‘life’ in them, going to organizations who understand the value of assisting people young and old get to medical appointments or activities. This is a program that understand the difference these vans can make in the lives of the people who use them, and I look forward to seeing how they are put to good use.”
--Councilmember Larry Gossett

“Transferring our gently-used Metro Vans to deserving nonprofits gives these vehicles ‘second lives’ serving senior centers, homeless shelters, youth organizations, and countless other groups throughout the County. I know the vans will be appreciated and valued for many years and they will often make the difference in whether people can access needed services.”
--Councilmember Kathy Lambert

“Delivering ‘retired’ vans to organizations that help people throughout my district is one of my favorite parts of my job. The van retirement program is a creative way for us to support people who are actively working to make our County a better place for all.”
--Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles    

“Providing transportation for the people they serve can be a huge obstacle for agencies with tight budgets. The van transfer program has been a massive success throughout my time on the Council, giving us the opportunity to repurpose resources to meet the needs of communities throughout the County.”
--Councilmember Joe McDermott


 The organizations, agencies and governments receiving vans:


Friendship Adventures
Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children
Pioneer Human Services/Pioneer Youth Center - Spruce Street
Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Black Dollar Days Task Force/Clean Greens Farm and Market
Cham Refugees Community
Community Passageways
23rd and Cherry Fellowship, Inc.
City of Issaquah Senior Center
Eastridge Church
King County Police Explorers
Mamma's Hands
Catholic Community Services - Sacred Heart Shelter
Friends of the Children – Seattle
Progress House Association
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
City of Burien
Kent Youth & Family Svcs
Living Well Kent
Ms. Mari's Martial Arts Club
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Congregations for the Homeless (2)
Stroum Jewish Community Center of Greater Seattle
Auburn School Distr-Transition
Federal Way Senior Center
Federal Way Youth Action Team
Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) Road to Independence
Colectiva Legal del Pueblo
Vashon Park District
Washington Cement Masons and Plasterers
White Center Community Development Association
Adult and Teen Challenge Seattle Campus
City of Maple Valley - Law Enforcement Explorers
YWCA Passage Point
New Horizon School

Contact the Council
Main phone:
Relay: 711
Find my Councilmember
Click Here