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Van GO Grants

Van GO Grants Keep Our Community Moving

What is Van GO?

Van GO originated in 2000 following route cuts and eliminations due to the passage of I-695. At its regular February 3, 2000 meeting, Community Transit’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a staff proposal that six wheelchair accessible minibuses and six 15-passenger vans be granted to qualifying non-profit organizations throughout Snohomish County. The goal was to ease some of the pain for senior citizens, the disabled and youth caused by the service cuts.

Usually, retired Community Transit vans sold at auction, net a few thousand dollars each for the agency. By granting some of these surplus vehicles to community groups, they can continue to provide many times that value in transportation services. Vehicles granted still have several years and thousands of miles of life left in them.  The service restored by granting the vehicles back to the community far outweighed the revenue that would have been generated from their sale. In addition, the community attention generated by the grants was priceless to Community Transit. Not only did the agency garner significant media and community attention during the application and grant processes, the receiving organizations were also covered by more than a dozen local newspapers and radio stations. Treasured letters from grateful customers who once again became able to get to church services, medical appointments and other destinations were received by literally all of the organizations. The program is a win-win proposition for both the transit agency that granted vehicles and for the communities they serve.

This valuable community program continues today. Now in its eleventh year, Van GO has granted 106 vehicles that have provided more than 500,000 rides to senior citizens, low income adults, and youth that would have otherwise gone without. These granted vans improve the quality of life for thousands of Snohomish County residents.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

All non-profit organizations and agencies with 501(c)3 status, who primarily serve residents of the Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area (PTBA), are eligible. The PTBA serves all incorporated cities and towns in Snohomish County with the exception of the City of Everett. The PTBA also includes the Tulalip Reservation and portions of unincorporated Snohomish County.

Questions about eligibility, limits of the PTBA and other questions about the program should be directed to Debbie Anderson at (425) 438-6136 or vango at commtrans dot org.
 

Other Rules and Requirements
  • Vehicle must be used for transportation-related purposes for citizens who live within Community Transit’s public transportation benefit area.
  • Only one vehicle will be awarded per agency/organization in an 18 month time frame.
  • Applicant must include clear designation of primary applicant who will be named as buyer on vehicle title, if selected as a recipient.
  • Applicant must certify they have the financial and management capacity to insure granted vehicle, if selected as a recipient.
  • Applicant must certify they have the financial and management capacity to maintain vehicle in good working condition.
  • Applicant must provide a copy of their IRS 501(c)3 non-profit certification.
  • Recipients are required to sign an agreement relating to the exchange of vehicles for transit-related services. A sample agreement is included in the application packet.

Selection Criteria Summary

The selection process is competitive and involves a review and evaluation process using the weighted criteria identified below. In addition to these specific criteria, geographic equity, diversity in population groups served, and whether an agency has received a grant vehicle previously will be used as balancing factors in making final decisions. 

  1. Demonstrated Community Benefit (weighted 50%)
    Explain clearly the scope and nature of your agency’s transportation need and what data you have to support that need. Include what service you currently utilize, what other options are available to your organization and how your program will meet that need and coordinate with other programs to get maximum use.
     
  2. Total Number of Trips Provided (weighted 20%)
    Clearly define and document the number of passenger trips to be provided annually.
     
  3. Clarity and Quality (weighted 15%)
    Applications will be rated on content, clarity, presentation and quality of application proposal – based on legibility, completeness, provision of data and clear definition of transportation needs and planned vehicle use.
     
  4. Service Coordination (weighted 15%)
    Describe how your current and proposed service coordinates with other transportation services in the area to ensure broad community benefit.

 

Applications are available when surplus vehicles and a grant timeline have been established.

Vehicle Descriptions

Vehicles that are earmarked for surplus auction will instead be granted to non-profit agencies.  Usually, retired Community Transit vans sold at auction, net a few thousand dollars each for the agency. By granting some of these surplus vehicles to community groups, they can continue to provide many times that value in transportation services.

Surplus vehicles to be granted in 2014 as described below:

  • Up to ten 12-passenger vans (no wheelchair lifts). 2006 Ford Econoline, gas engine, automatic transmission, approximately 100,000 miles. 
Application Submittal
Download application packet: Microsoft Word file or Adobe PDF


Paper applications must be postmarked no later than September 26, 2014.

Electronic or hand-delivered applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on September 26, 2014. Electronic applications must be followed by a hard copy containing the appropriate certification signatures.

Applications should be sent to:

Debbie Anderson, Transportation Demand Management and Outreach Specialist
Community Transit
7100 Hardeson Road
Everett, WA  98203-5834

For eligibility or application questions, email vango at commtrans dot org or call (425) 438-6136.

 
Application Submittal: August 8 - September 26, 2014
Pre-Application Workshop August 27, 2014 - 9:00 a.m.
Application Review & Scoring: October 1 - 24, 2014
Vehicle Awards Ceremony: November 6, 2014
Estimated Date of Vehicle Delivery to Recipients: November 24 - 26, 2014