Grants and Funding, News

County to Consider Fate of Ag Van Pool Program

County to consider fate of ag van pool program. From LompocRecord.com, Marga K. Cooley/Associate Editor mcooley@lompocrecord.com, 6 Apr 2011. Santa Barbara County [CA] will be ending a state-funded transportation program for farmworkers because of lack of use, and on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors will choose how to use the grant’s remaining $1.9 million.

The Agricultural Worker Transportation Program began in 2007, when the county received a notice from Caltrans that it had received nearly $3.1 million from the state to operate the farmworker van pool program called AgVAN in North County, according to officials.

The program was supposed to expire in June 2010, but in 2009 the state granted a one-year extension to participating local agencies.

However, it was not financially feasible to continue the program in Santa Barbara County because of the low use, according to county staff.

One option calls for the county to use half of the $1.9 million to buy 35 new vans which would be used by the newly formed Cal Vans, a statewide vanpooling agency, for farmworker transportation.

As part of the deal, Cal Vans would maintain a staffed satellite office in Santa Maria to handle vanpooling.

Staff recommends the county end the AgVAN program and use half the $1.9 million to buy the 35 new 15-passenger vans from Kings County to transfer to Cal Vans.

Read more at: LompocRecord.com, “County to consider fate of ag van pool program,” Marga K. Cooley/Associate Editor mcooley@lompocrecord.com, 6 Apr 2011.

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