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Community Transit taking applications for 'Van GO' surplus vehicle program

Community Transit is accepting applications for its "Van GO" vehicle grant program that offers surplus vehicles to local groups to help meet community transportation needs.

This year's program is timed to help offset the impact of CT service cuts, for which CT CEO Joyce Eleanor apologized, before she presented Van GO as an alternative means of ridership.

Under Van GO, a number of surplus older CT vehicles — including vanpool vans, para-transit mini-buses and staff service vehicles — are set aside for competitive grants to non-profit agencies.

In their applications, community groups must demonstrate how they would use these vehicles to provide transportation service.

This year, 12 surplus vehicles are available for grants, all of which have gas engines and automatic transmissions:

• Three 14-passenger 2003 El Dorado Aerotech 24FA mini-buses, with wheelchair lifts and approximately 220,000 miles on each.

• Six 8-passenger 2000 Chevrolet Astro vans and three 12-passenger 2004 Ford E350 vans, without wheelchair lifts and with approximately 100,000 miles on each.

All these vehicles have been well maintained by CT maintenance staff.

Since CT started Van GO in 2000, after state funding for transit was cut in the wake of I-695, CT has granted 84 vehicles to non-profit organizations throughout Snohomish County, and Van GO has been duplicated by other transit agencies across the state and the country.

To be eligible for the vehicle grants, non-profit organizations and agencies that apply must have 501(c)3 status and primarily serve residents of the CT service area, which includes all incorporated cities and towns in Snohomish County, with the exception of the city of Everett, the Tulalip Reservation and portions of unincorporated Snohomish County.

Applications must be submitted by April 30 and awards will be announced at the June 3 CT Board of Directors meeting. After verifying insurance and transferring ownership, vehicles will be delivered to the winning groups by the end of June.

A special workshop for Van GO applicants will take place 11 a.m. April 1 in the CT Board Room at 7100 Hardeson Rd. in Everett. Vehicles will be available for inspection at that time.

For more information, call 425-348-7185, e-mail or log onto www.communitytransit.org/vango.

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