Community Transit gives away vans; to cut service

EVERETT — With cuts in Community Transit service scheduled to take effect June 13, the agency moved up its annual van donation program this year.

Community Transit on Thursday donated 12 vehicles to several local nonprofit groups; in previous years, donations were made in summer. The agency estimates the vehicles will help 59,000 people get around.

Community Transit is eliminating all service on Sundays and holidays beginning June 13 to help make up $16 million in lost revenue over two years.

The county’s largest transit agency also is looking at shortening or reducing stops on most of its 64 routes and cutting early-morning and late-night service. Community Transit also raised fares June 1 by 25 cents on all noncommuter routes.

Many riders who use the bus on Sundays say they’ll have trouble getting to church, work or other social events. The organizations that received the vans say they’ll use the vans during the week as well as on weekends, according to Community Transit.

The agency awarded six surplus 8-passenger vans, three surplus 12-passenger vans and three surplus 14-passenger mini-buses to nonprofit groups from around Snohomish County.

Recipients were selected from more than 30 applications based on the service they would be able to provide, according to the agency.

The eight-passenger vans were presented to Cocoon House of Everett; Faith Heritage Church of Everett; Greater Trinity Christian Learning Academy of Everett; Oxford House of Snohomish County; Smithwright Services of south Snohomish County and Village Community Services of north Snohomish County.

The 12-passenger vans went to Calvary Fellowship of Mountlake Terrace in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America and Mission 2 Mentor; Crescendo Artistic Environmental School of Edmonds and Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, based in Everett.

The 14-passenger, wheelchair lift-equipped mini-buses were presented to the Mukilteo Seniors, Snohomish Senior Center, and the partnership of Stanwood United Methodist Church and Josephine Sunset Home.

This year’s grants bring to total 96 surplus vehicles that Community Transit has granted to nonprofit organizations under its Van GO program since 2000, according to the agency.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439, sheets@heraldnet.com.

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