Young people, senior citizens and Eastside residents with disabilities will benefit from the donation of surplus vans from the King County Metro Vanpool Program.
Metropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who represents District 3 in northeast King County, presented the keys of the "retired" vans to the Si View Metro Park District, the Mt Si Senior Center and the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall.
"I’ve observed all three of these fine organizations for several years," said Councilmember Lambert. "I’m confident that the donated vans will be put to good use serving community members – children to seniors and everyone in-between! They will transport thousands of people, bringing many opportunities for better health, education and developing community."
Earlier this year, the Metropolitan King County Council approved donating three retired vans in each of the nine council districts to agencies that provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, senior citizens and young people.
Si View Metro Park District provides recreation programs and activities for the entire Snoqualmie Valley. Their van will be used to transport young people and people with disabilities for recreation programs, including before and after school programs.
Mt. Si Senior Center serves seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities, students and veterans. An additional van will give them the capacity to serve more people from the Snoqualmie Valley.
The Wilderness Awareness School serves mainly young people with a goal of fostering appreciation of nature, community and self. They serve thousands of students over the course of a year and another van will be a welcome addition for their transportation needs.
"It was fun to deliver the vans and to visit with these groups and their participants," Lambert said.
In 1995, the County Council began donating retired vans to non-profit groups for the transportation of low-income clients.
That donation effort has grown to include both non-profits and local governments. The vans now meet the transportation needs of low-income clients, youth, the elderly and the disabled.
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.