Archive for April, 2009

ITNNorthCentralConnecticut celebrates first official ride

April 27, 2009

The First Ride Celebration for ITNNorthCentralConnecticut took place on April 27, 2009, with State Senator Jonathan Harris behind the wheel. “I am pleased to have played a part in helping to get ITN started, but the credit really goes to those on the ground who made it a reality,” Senator Harris told representatives from ITNAmerica, the State of Connecticut’s Commission on Aging, the Connecticut Chapter of AARP, and the Connecticut Department of Social Services Aging Services Division.

Senator Harris’ passenger and ITNNorthCentralConnecticut’s first rider was Jean Paterwic. Jean uses a walker, and she volunteers to prepare ITN mailings from her home. “I believe in ITNNorthCentralConnecticut, and I support what I believe in,” she said. “ITN can provide me with the door-through-door service that I need to get from my apartment to the car, and it will enhance my independence,” Paterwic added.

ITNNorthCentralConnecticut is now offering rides 24/7 to seniors and adults with visual impairments in Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks. This alternative transportation program uses a combination of volunteer and paid drivers who provide rides in private vehicles. There is no restriction on the purpose of a ride, and help is offered to carry packages, fold walkers, and open doors. Members enjoy peace of mind knowing that a clean private car and safe, experienced driver are available to them around the clock, 365 days a year.

Funding for ITNNorthCentralConnecticut™ was provided in part by the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services Aging Services Division and by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Communications Manager Lisa Holbrook, ITNAmerica, Executive Director Margaret Smith Hale, ITNNorthCentralConnecticut, Senator Jonathan Harris, First Rider Jean Paterwic Photo credit: Connecticut Commission on Aging Photo.

Senator Jonathan A. Harris delivered the First Ride.
Photo credit: Connecticut Commission on Aging Photo.

Realizing Dignified Transportation for Seniors

April 27, 2009

Philanthropy New York website,

More than one million older adults stop driving every year, and more than fifty percent of them stay home on any given day—partially because they lack transportation options. Moreover, three out of four older adults live in rural and suburban areas that lack a mass transit system. Because older people often own their cars past the point of being able to drive them safely, Katherine Freund, the founder of Independent Transportation Network® (ITN®), saw an opportunity to create a ride service through a mix of volunteers and staff drivers…

Click here to read the entire article.

Harris Behind the Wheel for First Ride of ITNNorthCentralConnecticut

April 27, 2009


Monday April 27th was the official start of ITNNorthCentralCT which is now offering rides 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. State Senator Jonathan A. Harris (D-West Hartford), inaugurated ITN by taking Jean Paterwic on a ceremonial first ride at the Marilyn Michaelson Senior Center in Bloomfield.

Click here to read full press release.

Money available to help NY seniors get rides

April 15, 2009

Westbrook, ME

Four $50,000 grants are available to communities in New York to establish transportation services for seniors who might otherwise be stuck in their homes or driving beyond their abilities. The two year grants are available through ITNAmerica® with funding by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The grants are to be applied at $25,000 per year toward the cost to establish Independent Transportation Network® affiliates. Applications are currently being accepted.

Across the country, more than a million Americans age 70 and older stop driving each year. Today, people remain active and independent into their eighties and beyond, and outlive their decision to stop driving by as much as a decade. That’s too long to depend on favors, even from family.

There are currently 12 ITN® affiliates in nine states. Rides are offered 24/7 for any purpose within the service area, in private cars with a combination of volunteer or paid drivers. There are several innovative ways to pay for rides, from discounts for scheduling a ride in advance or sharing a ride, to trading in an unused car for an equal value of rides. In addition, volunteers earn mileage credits that they can donate to friends, family or The Road Scholarship Fund™ for low-income seniors. These credits can also be stored for the future when a volunteer decides to stop driving. Or an adult child may volunteer in Chicago and donate their credits to a parent who lives in Sarasota, for example.

Individuals or organizations interested in starting an affiliate may download the guidelines at The Independent Transportation Network® is a grassroots solution to a growing problem that touches every family in America. Current affiliates have been started by agencies on aging, faith-based groups, individuals philanthropists and activists, as well as other public-based organizations, such as a mayor’s office.

For more information about the grants, please contact Ernie Ott at or 909-792-6326. For more information about ITNAmerica, please visit

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation is one of the nation’s largest private foundations and is dedicated to relieving the burdens of poverty, especially among older adults.

ITNAmerica is the first and only national non-profit transportation system for America’s aging population.

Introducing: Lane Bensussen!

April 10, 2009

Donna Baker

We are very pleased to welcome our new Director of Operations Lane Bensussen to ITNGreaterLA. Lane has volunteered with ITNGreaterLA since May of 2008. He is very excited to be promoting the ITN mission. “ITN provides an invaluable service to our parents and grandparents who can no longer drive for themselves.” Lane said. “My personal goals are to continue providing on-time, friendly, and safe transportation for current ITN members, and to increase new membership and volunteer drivers in order to grow the business and expand ITNGreaterLA’s service area.”

Lane was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been a resident of Santa Monica since 1985. Lane graduated from Chapman University in 2002 with a bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. Lane has spent the previous four years working for a vitamin and drug company as a product manager and business analyst. In his free time, Lane enjoys studying history, playing guitar, photography, and spending time with his friends and family. We are so happy to have him team!