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WANTED: Somerset County residents with transportation challenges

October 21, 2014

Founder of national non-profit transportation solution ITNAmerica® keynotes community forum Nov. 5, online survey participants could win a $20 Giant Eagle gift card

Somerset, PA, Oct. 21, 2014 — Riding a bicycle 20 minutes to work in one of the nation’s snowiest counties is not anyone’s idea of a sustainable lifestyle. Neither is missing a doctor’s appointment or parent-teacher conference because you’re visually impaired or without a car. This is reality for a number Somerset County residents. Many residents face serious barriers to the most basic standards of living, never mind quality of life.

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and Behavioral Health Services of Somerset and Bedford Counties, Inc., together with the Somerset County Foundation are not sitting idle; they’ve joined forces with ITNAmerica to organize a community survey and forum to build a case for bridging the transportation gap in this rural community. The forum is from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the Area Agency on Aging of Somerset County, 1338 S. Edgewood Ave., Somerset.

Keynote panelist Katherine Freund is founder and President of the national non-profit ITNAmerica. The 20-year-old Independent Transportation Network (ITN), is six years into research and development of ITNEverywhere, a non-profit marketplace concept that would expand mobility options by allowing people to share their private transportation resources. Katherine will speak about ITNEverywhere, which the research effort in Somerset County will support. Katherine will be joined by local experts on this issue, who will speak to the distinct transportation challenges Somerset County residents are facing. All panelists will engage in a Q&A with attendees as well. Light refreshments will be provided.

“It’s a pretty simple concept. We have vehicles and we have people who need rides. And in rural communities, we have rich community spirit. ITNEverywhere is about how we put it all together,” said Freund.

Take our survey – win a Giant Eagle Gift Card!
This community forum kicks off a more comprehensive research effort involving residents of Somerset County. All residents in the greater Somerset County area who are 18 or older in age are invited to take an online survey to help us build a case for change. The survey link is already live here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ITNSomersetCounty. The survey will remain live until we reach a valid number of responses. All participants in the survey will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of several $20 Giant Eagle gift cards.

About Katherine Freund
Katherine Freund is a national expert on transportation solutions for America’s rapidly growing community of aging baby boomers who can no longer drive. She has been featured on C-Span and in the New York Times, Forbes and Consumer Reports In 2008, The Wall Street Journal named her “One of 12 People who are Changing Your Retirement.”

About ITNAmerica and ITNEverywhere
The ITNEverywhere vision is to be to community mobility what eBay is to flea markets. ITNAmerica has conducted six years of research to quantify the need and viability of the ITNEverywhere concept. Now ITN is actively seeking a sponsor to fund the IT solution that will power this non-profit marketplace for sharing private transportation. Interested sponsors may contact Heidi Farber.

ITNAmerica is the nation’s only non-profit, community-based transportation program serving senior citizens and the visually impaired with door-through-door, arm-in-arm service. ITN began as a single transportation service in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago and has since grown into a network of 27 affiliated communities in 21 states from coast to coast.

Contacts:
Somerset County: Rob Stemple – rstemple@visioncorps.net, cell: (814) 233-8826
ITNAmerica: Lisa Wolff – lisa.wolff@itnamerica.org

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ITNAmerica is always looking for volunteer drivers and donors to keep our costs down and rides up for our customers. For information about how you can support the Independent Transportation Network, visit www.itnamerica.org.

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