Community Transits offers surplus vans to nonprofit groups

Community Transit is offering 12 surplus vans and minibuses to nonprofit groups to offset planned cuts in bus service.

The agency created its Van GO surplus vehicle program 10 years ago after it cut bus service following the passage of Initiative 695, officials said.

In February 2000, the agency suspended all Sunday service when the Legislature responded to the initiative by sharply cutting the car-tab tax, which was then a major revenue source for Community Transit. The Sunday service remained shut down for two years.

The agency continued the Van GO program even after it recovered from that funding crisis. Since 2000, Community Transit has donated 84 vans and minibuses to community groups in Snohomish County, officials said.

Now, Community Transit faces an $11 million shortfall in 2010 and the same amount in 2011. Earlier this month, the agency’s board of directors approved a plan to cut service by 15 percent, again suspending all Sunday and holiday bus service, to save $5 million this year and $11 million next year. The cuts take effect June 13.

Available vehicles include vanpool vans, paratransit minibuses and staff service vehicles. Community groups must describe in their application how they would use the vehicle to provide transportation service. Groups in Community Transit’s service area are eligible.

The deadline to apply is April 30, with the vans scheduled to be awarded June 3. A workshop for Van GO applicants is planned for 11 a.m. April 1 in the Community Transit Board Room, 7100 Hardeson Road, Everett, accessible by Everett Transit Route 8. Vehicles will be available for inspection at that time.

For more information write vango@commtrans.org, call 425-348-7185 or go to www.communitytransit.org/vango.

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

How nonprofits roll

Community Transit has 12 surplus vehicles available to nonprofit groups this year:

  • Three 14-passenger minibuses with wheelchair lifts. The 2003 El Dorado Aerotech 24FA buses have gas engines, automatic transmissions and approximately 220,000 miles each.

    Six eight-passenger vans (no wheelchair lifts). The 2000 Chevrolet Astro vans have gas engines, automatic transmissions and approximately 100,000 miles each.

    Three 12-passenger vans (no wheelchair lifts). The 2004 Ford E350 vans have gas engines, automatic transmission and approximately 100,000 miles.

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