Archive for April, 2008

On the Road Again

April 29, 2008

The Chronicle, By Shawn Dagle

Across the state, senior transportation remains a major problem. The inability to transport themselves often leaves seniors isolated and removed from society, family and friends. One service is looking to put seniors back in the driver’s seat. ITN (Independent Transportation Network) CentralConnecticut is planning to offer seniors the ability to sign up for affordable rides anytime of day, any day of the week, beginning in July. Not a taxi service, ITN will provide seniors arm-to-arm, door-through-door service, say organizers, that is personalized, professional and tailored to meet the needs of individual seniors.

Click here to read the full article.

ITNBluegrass: Lexington Launches Low Cost Transportation Network

April 23, 2008

By Stu Johnson.

Ballooning gasoline prices can make drivers think twice about making a trip. But for some, the price of gas is just one barrier to travel. WEKU’s Stu Johnson reports on a new central Kentucky service that helps elderly and visually impaired individuals who need a ride.

For the full story and Podcast, please click here.

ITNBluegrass: Volunteer rides bill is approved

April 17, 2008

By Jennifer Hewlett.

A Kentucky House bill smoothing the way for a transportation service for older and visually impaired people in Fayette and four other counties cleared the General Assembly late Tuesday.

For the full story, please click here.

Last hurdle cleared for ITNBluegrass.

April 16, 2008

ITNAmerica is pleased to announce that the proposed legislation (House Bill 204) ensuring that ITNBluegrass will be exempt from current laws regarding livery licensing was passed by the Kentucky State Senate on April 15 at 10:43 p.m.– the very last day of the session. This is a critical step toward ITNBluegrass becoming operational.

Without approval of the bill, volunteer drivers would not have been able to drive their own cars. This would have been an impossible situation for a service that relies on volunteers to keep the cost of rides affordable to seniors and those with visual impairments.

ITNBluegrass will arrange a ceremonial signing with Governor Beshear at the end of May. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom

Rep. Susan Westrom (left), with ITNBluegrass Executive Director Gale Reece
Rep. Susan Westrom (left), with ITNBluegrass Executive Director Gale Reece

Martha Giles receives President’s Call to Service Award

April 16, 2008

Melanie Creamer, Staff Writer, Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram.

Martha Giles, a humble and vibrant 79-year-old Portland resident, isn’t one to stay home.

For the past 13 years, Giles has driven senior citizens and people with visual impairments to appointments and shopping centers throughout the greater Portland area. As a volunteer for Independent Transportation Network® Portland, Giles has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of driving. The distinction earned her the nonprofit’s highest honor, the Presidential Service Award.

For the full story please click here:

Smith Hale named Executive Director

April 14, 2008
Margaret Smith Hale

Margaret Smith Hale has been named the Executive Director of ITNNorthCentralConnecticut. Since 1973, she has been implementing successful and creative strategies and developing productive partnerships with local citizens, government, community organizations and volunteers in the non-profit arena.

Margaret earned her B.S. in Business Administration at Boston University. Her for-profit experience includes management positions at Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc., Smith & Hale Associates and Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.

As a board member and president of Interfaith Council for the Homeless, Margaret worked with budget development, fundraising, and inter-agency programs including grants and volunteers, as well as streamlining the financial reporting system.

Margaret has assisted many non-profit organizations and activities throughout her career, including Housing With Love Walk, Habitat For Humanity, Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Provincetown Soup Kitchen and Flocking Together For Housing Auction.

ITNAmerica Founder Katherine Freund Speaks in San Diego

April 10, 2008

Overflow Crowd Turns Out For Forum
San Diego

Katherine Freund, President and Founder of ITNAmerica, was the featured speaker at a public forum held today before an overflow crowd of 140 seniors and individuals who learned about a new senior transportation. Among today’s attendees were Pam Smith, Director of San Diego County’s Office of Aging and Independence Services and City Councilman Brian Maienschein, representing the City/County partnership instrumental in providing start up funding for the San Diego initiative.

The Independent Transportation Network® (ITN) is for individuals 60 or over, as well as those who are visually impaired. ITN is a membership organization offering rides around the clock, seven days/week, for any purpose within the service area. Fares are generally half the price of a taxi, and rides are provided by volunteer or paid drivers using private automobiles only.

ITN is the first and only national non profit transportation system for America’s aging population. The ITN model marries the power of information technology and the strength of local voluntary support to create an efficient and financially sustainable solution to the transportation needs of seniors and their families. Begun in Portland, Maine, 15 years ago, the ITN model is rapidly taking root in communities across the country — from Los Angeles to Orlando and communities in between.

Freund was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article, “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement: These pioneers are shaping the way Americans will live, work and play later in life” (2/16/08).

Partners sponsoring the launch of ITNSanDiego include the City of San Diego and San Diego County’s Aging and Independence Services (AIS). ITNSanDiego is targeted to begin operations in Fall 2008. Neighborhoods in the initial service area include University City, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, De Anza Cove, Linda Vista, Mission Valley, Serra Mesa, Clairemont and Sorrento Valley. Service will be expanded in the future.

To learn more about ITNSanDiego, please call Chuck Overbey at (619) 298-2903 or email To read more about ITN or Katherine Freund, visit

Economic Impact of ITNPortland Increases 149%

April 7, 2008

Westbrook, ME

The economic impact of having an Independent Transportation Network® affiliate has risen sharply in the last five years. Members of ITNPortland will spend an estimated $806,036 annually in the Greater Portland community. Increases in ridership and the consumer price index account for this increase, calculated in 2003 at $322,797 and now revised to $806,036. Riders are 65 years or older and those with visual impairments who might otherwise not be able to travel, shop and make their medical appointments.

“Older people are a vital part of the local economy,” said ITNAmerica Executive Director Katherine Freund, “but if they cannot leave their homes, it is difficult for them to make an impact.”

Research shows that non-driving seniors make 15% fewer trips to the doctor and 65% fewer trips for social, family and religious activities. ITN provides door-through-door transportation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no restrictions on ride purpose. All rides are in private cars with trained drivers who fold walkers, carry packages and open doors.

No tax payer dollars are used to operate the service, and the fares charged only cover approximately half the cost of the rides. Community support is needed to keep the service affordable, and there is an urgent need for more volunteer drivers. To help, please call 207 854-0505.

Public Innovators/ The Aspen Institute

April 1, 2008

A panel discussion about government’s role in promoting social innovation and entrepreneurship. This event served as the public release of our report Advancing Social Entrepreneurship: Recommendations for Policy Makers and Government Agencies.

Katherine Freund, founder of the Independent Transportation Network®, is included on the panel.