Archive for February, 2015

WMFD: Program gets older adults and students on the road together

February 25, 2015

Beginning with the spring 2015 semester, college students enrolled in select classes at the University of Cincinnati have the opportunity to receive college credit for driving older adults in the community through a pilot project called Driving Community Connections. The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) of Greater Cincinnati has been incorporated into new and existing courses and will provide students with the ability to engage with Ohio’s elders, learn about the aging process and meet a need in their local community.

“I commend University of Cincinnati for embracing an innovative way to fill a key need in the community while also giving students an invaluable learning experience that they won’t find in any textbook,” said Bonnie K. Burman, Sc.D., director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “They will learn that generations are interdependent and that Ohio thrives when we support each other.”

Read the full article online here

Cleveland Plain Dealer: University of Cincinnati students may receive credit for driving older adults

February 25, 2015

University of Cincinnati students will volunteer to drive older adults as part of a pilot program called Driving Community Connections.

CINCINNATI, Ohio – University of Cincinnati students may receive credit for driving older adults in a pilot project that will provide transportation to the elderly.

The university has partnered with the Independent Transportation Network of Greater Cincinnati for a program that may expand to other universities.

Cincinnati is the only city in Ohio currently in the network, in which volunteer drivers provide door-to-door services for adults who have paid dues to the non-profit organization.

The program, Driving Community Connections, is supported by the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Board of Regents.

This semester, UC students who volunteer can take a one credit hour online elective course to learn more about the aging process. Ohio Department of Aging staff will participate in class webinars.

Read the full article online here

Forbes: How The Story Of One 3-Year-Old Boy Started A Senior Mobility Movement

February 23, 2015

How The Story Of One 3-Year-Old Boy Started A Senior Mobility MovementWhen my son was 3 years old, he was run over by an 84-year-old driver who said he thought he hit a dog. That was 27 years ago, and even though Ryan survived a traumatic brain injury, for years, I refused to talk about it. But through the Independent Transportation Network, I have spent all of my working life since that day in 1988 trying to solve the underlying transportation problem that caused the tragedy: inadequate transportation for older people.

My family is far from the only family that’s suffered as a result of this problem; older drivers have the highest fatal crash rate of any group except teenagers. Since 3 out of 4 older Americans live in rural and suburban communities that lack the density for traditional mass transit, most have limited transportation options that could otherwise help keep them safe and mobile. And the problem grows steadily, as 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day for the next 17 years. By 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be aged 65 or older.

Read the full article online here

ITNGreaterCincinnati can cut seniors’ transportation costs in half

February 13, 2015

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky – February 13, 2015 – ITNGreaterCincinnati (ITNGC) not only offers affordable transportation to seniors and adults with vision impairments, we can also cut transportation costs in half for seniors.

According to AAA’s annual “Your Driving Costs” study, the 2014 average cost of automobile ownership is $8,876 per year, based on an average 15,000 miles driven annually. The average adult between the ages of 55 and 64 years old drives approximately 12,000 miles per year, and those 65 years old and over drive less than 8,000 miles per year.

We tend to hold on to our automobiles thinking that it is less expensive than other transportation options available in our community. That simply is not the case. ITNGreaterCincinnati members are reducing their overall transportation budget through our innovative “pay as you go” transportation solution year over year. Who wouldn’t benefit from saving money?

ITNGC can help older adults slash their transportation budget by more than half! ITNGC’s most frequent riders average 275 trips per year and are paying less than half of the average cost of owing a private automobile. Looking at these costs another way, the average cost of a ride with ITNGC is $13. At that rate $8,876would get you over 680 rides or 340 round trips per year. That is almost one round trip ride every day of the year!

The mission of ITNGC is to provide seniors (60+) and visually impaired adults with a 24/7 transportation resource that is “arm-through-arm, door-through-door, go where you want to go when you want to go.” ITNGC breaks down the isolation that comes when seniors surrender their keys, and gives visually impaired adults freedom to go beyond bus routes at a cost they can afford with no ride restrictions.
Volunteer drivers provide the rides for ITNGC making this service community supported and sustainable. All volunteers are trained and background checked. This is one of the most gratifying volunteer positions you can have because volunteers work directly with clients.

ITNGC has been operating in the Greater Cincinnati area since May, 2010 and was brought to the area by the Vision Coalition of Greater Cincinnati and the Deaconess Associations Foundation, both of which realized there was a significant local need for transportation for older adults and visually impaired adults on both sides of the river. They coordinated their resources and efforts and together formed ITNGreaterCincinnati, a local affiliate of the national ITN organization. Now ITNGC serves residents within the I-275 loop in Kentucky and Ohio.

Innovator Profile: Katherine Freund, ITNAmerica

February 12, 2015

Katherine Freund, Founder and President ITNAmericaIn 1988, Ms. Freund’s 3-year-old son was hit by a car and nearly killed. The driver was 84 years old. That event sparked an interest in transportation issues that led, in the mid-1990s, to the development of the Independent Transportation Network.

The program offers rides – round the clock, seven days a week – to older adults. Riders can trade in their cars and get credit for travel; volunteer drivers can bank their hours on the road to use later for themselves or family. Ms. Freund serves as founder and president of ITNAmerica, which has grown into a national organization. (From the Wall Street Journal)

The following is a lightly edited version of the Shared-Use Mobility Center’s conversation with Katherine Freund. In each issue of SUMC’s newsletter, we will profile a different shared mobility innovator.

Read the full article online here

Katherine Freund: Imagining a Future in Which Older People Won’t Need to Drive

February 11, 2015

Her knees aren’t great. She uses a cane. She doesn’t walk as quickly as she used to. And the nearest bus stop is a couple of miles away. She promised her kids she wouldn’t drive. So what now?

Well, first things first: she gets out those reading glasses and puts on that thinking cap because it’s time to figure out the route. Red line? Blue line? Oh, there’s a quick underground connection. Run to catch it?

Um, no.

Oh, for Pete’s sake. Where are the car keys?

“Only about 2 1/2 percent of the trips that older people take in the entire country are on mass transportation of any kind,” says Katherine Freund, an advocate for improving transportation for elders.

Read the full article online here

ITNAmerica launches #sharearide: “make 2015 the year to give an older person a ride”

February 9, 2015

The #sharearide social media challenge culminates into a Storybook Tour this summer, when ITN Founder will drive cross-country to gather stories for a book.

February 9, 2015 – PORTLAND, Maine – Just in time for the holiday of sharing the love, Valentine’s Day, the Independent Transportation Network of America (ITNAmerica) is challenging Americans to make 2015 the year to #sharearide with an older person. The challenge is simple and very important to the lives of millions of older Americans who are transitioning into the rider seat from the driver seat every day.

*Proceeds of the #sharearide challenge and fundraiser will be shared between ITNAmerica and your local ITN affiliate in communities with ITN affiliates (, unless otherwise specified by donors.

Why is ITN issuing the #sharearide challenge?

Aging and losing the ability to drive doesn’t need to mean losing the ability to live a full and active life. When it comes to transportation, older and visually impaired people are severely underserved, and it is only getting worse. By 2030, 20% of U.S. residents will be aged 65 or older. That’s 1 out of every 5, or nearly 75 million Americans.

“Older people who decide to stop driving outlive their decision by about 10 years. The answer to their unmet transportation needs is parked in driveways from coast to coast,” said ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund. Freund was named an AARP Inspire Award Honoree in 2009, and one of “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement” by the Wall Street Journal in 2008. “We need every car owner to give at least one ride to an older person who can no longer drive safely. Or, donate $20 to ITN in 2015 so we can do it for you.”

All participants in the #sharearide challenge are eligible to be selected for one of Freund’s “story stops” on her 60-day ITNAmerica Storybook Tour this summer and, with permission, may also be featured in the book that she is writing about the tour.

About the ITN Storybook Tour and #sharearide challenge

ITNAmerica Founder and President Katherine Freund is putting her mileage where her mouth is by buckling up for the ITN Storybook Tour this summer. The #sharearide challenge will surface the stories to serve as the basis for Katherine’s story stops. The 60-day cross-country road trip kicks off June 16, the 20th anniversary of ITN’s first ride. Freund wants to rally the nation to recognize the importance of mobility for people who can no longer drive, and help to secure solutions for the next 20 years. Learn more at

About Katherine Freund

Katherine Freund is an award-winning national expert on transportation solutions for America’s aging baby boomers who are planning for their retirement or can no longer drive. She has been featured on C-Span and in the New York Times, Forbes and Consumer Reports. Her passion for transportation safety ignited 27 years ago, when her three-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old driver. Learn more at

About ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica® is America’s only national, non-profit, community-based transportation service for older people and people with visual impairments, providing door-through-door and arm-through-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. Learn more at

About Rides in Sight

Rides in Sight is ITNAmerica’s national database providing access to listings of more than 15,000 transportation services through a web site ( and toll-free hotline (1-855-60-RIDES) for older and visually impaired people. Learn more at

Download a PDF copy here