County gives new vans to Valley seniors' organization

Seniors in the Snoqualmie Valley have three new vans to help provide specialized transportation.

Last week, King County Executive Ron Sims handed out keys to 21 brand-new passenger vans to eight local community service agencies, which will use the vehicles to continue providing specialized transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities who live across King County.

King County Metro Transit obtained the new passenger vans with a $906,000 state grant.

Two of the vans will be used in North Bend and one in Snoqualmie. The three area vans were given to Senior Services. Senior Services is the largest nonprofit agency serving older people in Washington. Established in 1967, the agency serves more than 50,000 seniors and their families each year through an integrated system of quality programs and services.

Senior Services began transporting people to hot meal programs, medical appointments, senior centers, grocery stores and other local destinations in 1997. There is no charge for rides, but donations are welcome.

"The agencies benefit because they can customize their transportation program to meet their clients' needs. And, the community benefits because these programs are often more cost-effective to operate than Metro's federally required paratransit service," said Sims.

The vans, which seat up to 11 passengers or three wheelchairs, were fully paid for by Washington State Department of Transportation paratransit grant funds obtained by Metro's Accessible Services program. The vans were distributed to community access agencies now using retired Metro vans with very high mileage.

Call (206) 727-6262 or (800) 282-5815 for information on sites and days of service.

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