Archive for June, 2015

West Hartford News: Job bank, network celebrate anniversaries

June 25, 2015

Photo courtesy of Bob Cave From left, Independent Transportation Network Executive Director Kevin Farmer, Seniors Job Bank office manager Bill Stachelek and West Hartford Town Manager Ron Van Winkle, during a recent anniversary celebration of the two non-profit organizations, which share office space at town hall.

West Hartford >> Two non-profit associations share an office in the West Hartford Town Hall: the Seniors Job Bank & Independent Transportation Network. Both of these associations have the same goal of helping and providing services to seniors and others in the greater West Hartford area.

The two non-profits were present at the SJB second anniversary celebration and said thank you to the town of West Hartford for its support in making their expansions successful over the past two years.

West Hartford Town Manager Ron Van Winkle, ITN Executive Director Kevin Farmer and SJB Office Manager Bill Stachelek led the group in singing “Happy Anniversary” at the celebration.

Read the full article online here

SFGate: ITNAmerica celebrating its 20th anniversary

June 19, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A program founded in Maine that allows seniors to trade in their vehicles in exchange for rides is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.

The concept of trading in cars for rides is aimed at getting elderly motorists off the road when they can no longer drive safely. The program was the brainchild of a mother, Katherine Freund, whose 3-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old old man.

Freund created the Independent Transportation Network to provide a solution.

Read the full article online here

WMTW 8: Transportation organization celebrates 20 years

June 17, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook Tour WMTW 8ITN provides rides for people who cannot drive

PORTLAND, Maine – A group celebrated two decades of providing transportation to the visually impaired and aging drivers.

The organization ITNAmerica launched a 60-day national road trip to commemorate the anniversary of the nonprofit organization.

Each year, thousands of Americans take advantage of the Independent Transportation Network, which allows people who cannot drive or choose to give up their keys a transportation alternative.

Watch the story online here Business awards – Week of June 8

June 16, 2015

Twenty percent of i know expo sponsorship dollars from the 2015 i know expo went into the Blue Grass Community Foundation i know expo foundation. From it, awards were made to two local nonprofits. The total collected this year was $5,400. Of that, the 20 percent went to the i know expo initial nonprofit sponsor, ITNBluegrass (Independent Transportation Network), which offers dignified transportation for seniors. Kentucky CancerLink received the rest.

Read the full article online here

the Forecaster: Maine ride-service founder hits the road in search of stories

June 16, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook TourPORTLAND — Millions of Americans drive every day, whether it’s commuting to work, making a trip to the store or just for fun.

But what happens when older drivers start to lose their ability to drive safely?

The most obvious solution is for that person to get a ride from someone else. And that’s where the nonprofit organization Independent Transportation Network comes in.

The organization, now entering its 20th year, was founded as a way for senior citizens to have access to volunteers willing to drive them where they need to go.

And to celebrate the anniversary of the first ride, ITN founder and President Katherine Freund is kicking off a rather unusual drive of her own.

Read the full article online here

Sun Journal: Elderly driving – tour calling attention to turning over keys

June 16, 2015

Katherine Freund Storybook TourWESTBROOK — Katherine Freund, an advocate who has called attention to the problem of seniors driving when it’s not safe, is about to hit the road.

On Tuesday, she’s launching a nationwide, 60-day cross-country trip to spotlight the need for seniors to hang up their keys when it’s time and have alternative transportation available.

Freund is president of Independent Transportation Network of America, a nonprofit organization that provides rides to seniors. She founded ITNAmerica 20 years ago, after her son was run over by an 84-year-old driver. Her son suffered a brain injury but recovered.

ITN is in 20 communities across the country, including the Portland area, but not in most parts of Maine. Transportation is lacking in many communities, Freund said, adding that needs to change.

Read the full article online here

MPBN: Transportation Network Helps Elderly Mainers Get Around and Stay Connected

June 15, 2015

ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund

PORTLAND, Maine – Spurred on by a traumatic personal experience, Katherine Freund of Portland has spent the last two decades helping the elderly and visually impaired access what she calls “dignified transportation.”

Next week she’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Independent Transportation Network that she created.

ITN provides rides to seniors who no longer feel safe behind the wheel. Over the years, the network has grown from a local operation to one that helps thousands of people in 21 states. But it’s not growing fast enough to meet the needs of a rapidly aging population.

It’s 1:30 on a weekday afternoon in Westbrook and 86-year-old Rose Novick is getting a ride home from the furniture store where she works.

Listen to the interview online here

Sixty-day storytelling road trip personifies transportation situation of aging and visually impaired Americans

June 10, 2015


June 9, 2015

Lisa Wolff, Marketing and Communications Manager
207-591-6942 |

Sixty-day storytelling road trip personifies transportation situation of aging and visually impaired Americans

National senior transportation expert Katherine Freund launches national tour from AARP Maine headquarters in Portland, Maine June 16.

Storybook Tour
PORTLAND, Maine – June 9, 2015 – ITNAmerica Founder and President Katherine Freund has not only led the nonprofit Independent Transportation Network (ITN) senior transportation movement for more than 20 years, she has courageously told the personal story that inspired this movement. But this year, she’s all about telling others’ stories.

ITNAmerica celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first ride ever given by ITN on June 16 by launching a 60-day national road trip. More than two dozen “story stops” comprise the Storybook Tour, each chosen for the distinct way it personifies transportation needs that millions of aging or visually impaired Americans experience every day. AARP Maine will host the anniversary kick-off event with national speakers including National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr and AARP Interim Head of State and Community Engagement Lori Parham. Speakers will share their personal stories about how met or unmet transportation needs, for themselves or a loved one, have changed their life.

More than 70 million Americans – that’s 1 in 5 – will be over the age of 65 in 15 years, and may start to experience diminished capacity to drive safely. Freund will drive to the people who are living with the decision to give up their keys, record their experiences, and share them with America through her blog, social media, traditional media and, later, a book.

“Transportation needs are too often an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ experience. We need to take notice before the accidents occur, and engage the people who can become part of the solution. Viable, personal transportation is essential if we are to age in our own homes and communities,” said Freund. “The solution is parked in millions of driveways across America. But first we need to surface the needs of so many people, their families and their communities by sharing their stories.”

Freund herself was inspired to start the Independent Transportation Network when she realized why her son was run over by an 84-year-old driver in 1988. That driver, like so many other older Americans, did not have equivalent independent transportation options available to give him the confidence to hang up the keys when it was time.

About ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica, composed of 20 ITN affiliates from coast to coast, is the only national nonprofit offering transitional and permanent transportation in personal automobiles for hundreds of thousands of older and vision-impaired people. The 24/7 arm-through-arm, door-through-door service uses innovative payment methods such as CarTrade or volunteer driver credits to bank rides, in addition to using Personal Transportation Accounts so no cash changes hand at the time of the ride. ITNAmerica also operates the only national toll-free hotline and searchable database of nearly 15,000 transportation options called Rides In Sight (855-60-RIDES).

About the Storybook Tour

From retired musicians in Nashville to the residents in the Navajo Nation in rural Arizona and members of the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s retirement community in Los Angeles, the stories on the Storybook Tour are sure to bring colorful and diverse insights into what transportation access means for the tens of millions striving to thrive in their homes and communities in spite of hanging up their car keys.

About Katherine Freund

Katherine Freund is an award-winning national expert on transportation solutions for America’s aging baby boomers. Read her full bio here.

CALLS TO ACTION: New senior transportation program could start in December

June 4, 2015

Group joining national affiliate ahead of launch

A primarily volunteer-run, discounted fare-based transportation program serving Hall County’s seniors could begin hitting the road in December.

“By that time, we’d like to have an executive director on board, drivers and people familiar with (internal) software so we can start our rides,” said Gary Lawrence, the group’s co-chairman.

But first, the nonprofit ITNLanier — or Independent Transportation Network Lanier – expects to become a national affiliate of ITNAmerica, and the first such one in Georgia, by June 15.

The group is paying $25,000 in affiliation fees but in return will get software “to track our trips, so we know where people are going and when they’re going there.”

“It’s going to be a very powerful tool for us,” Lawrence said, speaking Wednesday to the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Health Care Committee.

Read the full article online here