Submitted by Intercity Transit
Olympia/Thurston County, WA – The Intercity Transit Authority recently awarded four retired vanpool vehicles to local organizations, effectively giving a second life to aging vans. The transit Authority action this month awarded vehicles to the GRuB, Panza for Quixote Village, Stonewall Youth, and Thurston County Food Bank.
Three organizations will use eight-passenger vans to provide needed transportation for low-income and at-risk youth (GRuB, Stonewall Youth) and chronically homeless adults (Panza for Quixote Village). The fourth (Thurston County Food Bank) will use their van to transport volunteers to Thurston County growers to glean produce. The food bank’s gleaning program received an older eight-passenger van from the Van Grant Program five years ago and the award of a 12-passenger vehicle this year supports the program’s growth and capacity needs.
“There are many wonderful and worthy agencies in our community for whom a van can make a great impact in their organizational success and their ability to meet the fundamental needs of the community members they serve,” states Ann Freeman-Manzanares, Intercity Transit General Manager.
Intercity Transit grants the 8- and 12-passenger vehicles to qualified local non-profit organizations based on a competitive application process instead of selling them at auction. Organizations must use the vans to help local non-profits leverage resources and fill a transportation need that Intercity Transit fixed-route bus service cannot.
A total of ten applications for vans were received and reviewed prior to the award by the Intercity Transit Authority on October 2.
Since 2004, a total of 33 retired vanpool vans have found new homes. Agencies previously awarded vans include Olympia Gospel Mission, Morningside, South Sound Senior Services, Habitat for Humanity, the Pacific Peak Girl Scout Council, Behavioral Health Resources, Bread and Roses, and others.
Application and award of vans occurs once a year. Qualifying applicants must serve clients within the cities of Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, or Yelm or within their urban growth areas. Only government agencies and private nonprofit organizations that qualify under 26 USC 501(c)(3) are eligible to participate in the process. Applicants must identify how a van will benefit their constituency and the community as a whole. They must also demonstrate that existing transit service cannot meet their transportation needs and address their ability to maintain the vehicle for its intended function.
For more information about the Van Grant Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-705-5829.