Centrum Unveils New Van Fleet

For day-use information, click here.

The Centrum Foundation is proud to announce the receipt of a $180,000 grant from the C. Keith Birkenfeld Memorial Trust through The Seattle Foundation to acquire five 12-passenger vans to assist visitors attending year-round Centrum festivals and workshops in the arts. Centrum will offer select service from ferry terminals on the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas for its major programs and, in addition, make the vehicles available for daily rental use to other non-profits and local organizations from Sequim to Bainbridge Island.

“This gift is invaluable,” says Centrum Executive Director Robert Birman who sought the award. “Group shuttle service is one element missing from our local service economy. The Centrum shuttle fleet will help groups in our area to connect visitors with downtown Port Townsend, as well as Port Ludlow and points further afield in Jefferson and Kitsap counties.”

One of the motivations to seek this grant was to address the issue of sold-out capacity at local hotels and inns during each summer. “With our van fleet, we can now accommodate day visitors to Centrum, and get them back to the ferry at the end of each show,” said Birman.  This service will be offered through the Centrum website for $20 per round-trip.

Centrum contacted many regional non-profit programming partners in Jefferson and Kitsap counties to measure potential future interest in access to the vans. Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Performing Arts, Fort Worden, Goddard College, Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend Film Festival, Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, Juan de Fuca Festival, Key City Public Theater, Northwind Arts Center, Olympic Peninsula Steam and others provided letters of support.

Day use of the vans will require proof of insurance, pre-authorization of drivers (not furnished by Centrum) and a day-use fee of $200 per vehicle. There is no special license required to operate these vehicles.  Centrum has complete details online at www.centrum.org/vans.

Birman confirms that he has already received calls of interest from the Land Trust, Culinary Loop, Brass Screw Confederacy, the Inn at Port Ludlow and a local wedding party. Centrum is working on plans to partner with the Port Townsend School of the Arts to offer round-trip transportation for local artists to attend the Seattle Art Fair in August.

“I am confident that these vehicles will open new doors to programming options for all of the non-profits in our region,” says Birman. Several groups have suggested use of the vans for arts-for-elders programs and after school programming for youth.

The vans each carry the Centrum logo and branding associated with some of the non-profit’s most well-known programs. Birman refers to the graphics packages on the vans as “a bonus feature.”  “The more they are on the roads, the more people will know about Centrum.”

The vans were purchased from Wilder Auto Group in Port Angeles and graphics treatments were installed by the Station Signs in Port Hadlock.

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