Archive for 2017

ITNAmerica Affiliates Reach Record Milestones Thanks to Volunteer Drivers

April 25, 2017

Westbrook, ME – April 24, 2017 - “Volunteer driving is like having a conversation in a little rolling living room. Cars are private spaces, with picture windows, upholstery, and piped in music.” That’s how Katherine Freund, describes volunteering to drive for ITNAmerica, a national nonprofit transportation organization that promotes lifelong mobility for seniors and visually impaired adults.

ITNAmerica is pleased to announce during National Volunteer Week recent milestones achieved by Independent Transportation Network (ITN) affiliates across the country. The rides below were provided for members of ITN and were delivered almost entirely by volunteer drivers who offer door-through-door, arm-through-arm service. ITNPortland, the flagship affiliate of ITN, has nearly reached a third of a million rides in its 22 years of service.

ITN Affiliate Milestones Achieved in March 2017

  • ITNBluegrass hit its first 1,000+ ride month
  • ITNCentralOklahoma passed 2,000 rides and its first month of 200+ rides
  • ITNLanier passed 1,000 rides
  • ITNMemphis passed 4,000 rides
  • ITNMontereyCounty passed 30,000 rides. March was their busiest month ever with 800+ rides
  • ITNNorthJersey first month of 700+ rides
  • ITNStCharles hit its first 1,000+ ride month
  • ITNSunCoast passed 35,000 rides. March was their busiest month ever with 1,200+ rides

ITN Affiliate Ride Totals for ITN Members as of April 8, 2017

  • ITNBluegrass, 62,982 rides, first ride delivered Jul-2008
  • ITNCentralCT, 13,222 rides, first ride delivered Apr-2009
  • ITNCentralOklahoma, 2,024 rides, first ride delivered Sep-2015
  • ITNCoastalCT, 19,948 rides, first ride delivered Nov-2010
  • ITNLanier, 1,124 rides, first ride delivered Apr-2016
  • ITNLehighValley, 18,523 rides, first ride delivered Oct-2013
  • ITNMemphis, 4,203 rides, first ride delivered Dec-2014
  • ITNMontereyCounty, 30,605 rides, first ride delivered Dec-2011
  • ITNNorthJersey, 11,000 rides, first ride delivered Jun-2015
  • ITNOrlando, 72,994 rides, first ride delivered Oct-2006
  • ITNPortland*, 315,367 rides, first ride delivered Jun-1995
  • ITNSouthernDelaware, 2,398 rides, first ride delivered Dec-2015
  • ITNStCharles, 41,267 rides, first ride delivered Mar-2010
  • ITNSunCoast, 35,637 rides, first ride delivered Jan-2010

*Flagship Affiliate

The ITN volunteer driver program offers free memberships to volunteer drivers, transportation credits or mileage reimbursement for the miles they drive, and they get to set their own hours. After passing a background check, ITN volunteer drivers also receive training and ongoing support from ride coordinators. 

“The record ride numbers we reached last month are extraordinary. We couldn’t have done it without our dedicated volunteers, and since this is National Volunteer Week, it’s the perfect opportunity to thank our volunteer drivers and recognize their role in improving the lives of older people in our communities,” said Katherine Freund, President and Founder of ITNAmerica.

To apply to be an ITN volunteer driver in your community, please refer to the list of ITN affiliates on the ITNAmerica website and contact the affiliate near you.  Click here to make a contribution to ITNAmerica and help us make sure seniors and the visually impaired stay independent.

About ITNAmerica: ITNAmerica is the first national nonprofit transportation network that promotes lifelong mobility for seniors and visually impaired population by supporting sustainable, community-based transportation.  With more than 20 years of experience, ITNAmerica has a deep knowledge in research, policy analysis, and education. ITNAmerica also created Rides in Sight, the nation’s most comprehensive searchable online database of transportation solutions for seniors and individuals with visual impairments. With more than 15,000 transportation solutions in local communities across the United States, Rides in Sight offers a toll-free hotline that provides personal assistance and information about local transportation options. To learn more about ITNAmerica, visit or send email inquiries to You can also visit, or call 1-855-60-RIDES to find transportation options in your local area.

Flashback, Phil Bowhay: Going my way?

April 17, 2017

One of the better things about not driving anymore — seriously mature, visually impaired, among other things — is the people you meet. Those behind the wheel that pick you up, drive you around and bring you home again, or to hither and yon, your choice. I tell you this as a public service. Sure, there are friends and relatives who are happy to give a ride, but now and then, well, you know the rest.

Of course, if you live in the center of Pacific Grove, it’s an easy walk or stroll to Grove Market, Fandango or any number of fine establishments. On the other hand, if you want to visit Ryan Ranch, Monterey, Carmel, the airport or places in between and beyond, better to pay a little, with no strings attached. All of this takes me back to the good old days when we hitchhiked. Lots of stories there, but later.

Read the full article online here

ITNMontereyCounty Competitor in USA Today’s “A Community Thrives”

April 13, 2017

April 12, 2017, Monterey, CA – USA Today Network has launched a grant competition titled, “A Community Thrives” (ACT). National nonprofits have created videos to inform their communities about the amazing work they do, but to also win the opportunity to be considered for a $50,000 or $100,000 grant. ITNMontereyCounty has created a video: Voting begins at 11:59am EST on April 12, 2017 and ends at 11:59am EST on May 12, 2017. Vote by visiting the A Community Thrives (ACT) official website during the Voting Period. Maximum one (1) vote per person, per day. All applicants will receive an email informing them if their application will move onto judging or not.

Vote now for ITNMontereyCounty

Up to 10 applications with the highest votes in each category will be reviewed by a panel of judges after the Voting Period ends. Judges will make their decision based on (1) nature of the community project/need, (2) viability of the community project/need, and (3) evaluation of long-term impact of the proposed community project/need. The panel will determine the top three (3) applications in each category to be granted Awards. The first place application in each category will receive one (1) $100,000 grant. The second and third place applications in each category will receive one (1) $50,000 grant each.

About ITNMontereyCounty
Dignified transportation for seniors

Beginning its service in 2012, ITNMontereyCounty ( is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides 24 hour/7 days-a-week transportation to help seniors (age 60 and older) and visually-impaired adults (age 18 and older) to remain independent and active in Monterey County. Supported by members and donors, ITN Monterey County provides 24 hour dignified transportation for seniors in private autos, insured and inspected, with arm-through-arm, door-through-door service with affordable fares. ITNMontereyCounty currently over has 345 members who have received over 31,000 rides in 12 local communities within Monterey County. Volunteer drivers drive at their convenience in their own cars and give rides that are typically less than 20 minutes. They meet interesting people while helping others, plus they earn credits for themselves or a loved one, or receive mileage reimbursement. Seniors may also trade in their automobile for credits. The service may be used for any purpose, without restriction, in an ITNMontereyCounty service area. ITNMontereyCounty members often use the service to attend senior college, to get their hair done, to shop at the mall, or to go out on dates. The organization currently needs more volunteer drivers and donors. For more information, go to or call (831) 233-3447.

ITN offers round-the-clock service

April 10, 2017

Seniors transportation program eyes expansion throughout Sussex

Independent Transportation Network/SouthernDelaware is the only transportation program targeting seniors that offers 24-hour service, seven days a week. The network provides door-to-door service for residents over 55 years of age and people of any age who are visually impaired.

A team of 55 trained and vetted volunteer drivers take seniors on a variety of outings – from medical appointments to social events to shopping trips. “This helps people regain their independence and love of life,” said director Janis Hanwell. “It opens a whole new world for people, and especially those who have no family here.”

Read the full article online here

Augusta Age Friendly Committee looking for business sponsors

April 3, 2017

From sand buckets for seniors to a community resource guide, the Augusta Age Friendly Committee is engaged with many organizations, initiatives and local events.

There is expressed support for constructing benches as a form of public art as well as being used as resting places for seniors and those with limited mobility. Benches at select locations are the biggest need for residents, second only to improved transportation options. The committee is looking for businesses, residents and organizations to step up and donate a bench and be recognized for their support and contribution. We are also reviewing walkability, including safety of sidewalks near senior housing, pedestrian crossings at the roundabouts and an educational demonstration for seniors at crossing lights with the Augusta police resource officer.

Read the full article online here

Ride service for elderly, visually impaired back in business

March 29, 2017

At 87, Jane Watkins of Winter Park still has places to go and people to see. She just doesn’t trust herself to navigate the unnerving highways of Central Florida to get there.

Video: Lisa Haynes-Henry talks about the impact ITNOrlando has on her life.

So when a nonprofit transportation network she relied on suspended its service late last year, she felt stuck.

“I called my son-in-law and said, ‘This is terrible. Can’t you do something?’” Watkins said. “Being a businessman, he knows how to talk with people.”

Jack Miles — once a top state government official and executive for CIGNA and AIG — agreed to look into it, not just for his mother-in-law, but also for the 350 other members of ITNOrlando. An affiliate of the national Independent Transportation Network, the Central Florida organization relies on volunteers and donations to help shuttle residents over 60 and those with limited eyesight to doctor appointments, shopping trips and social visits.

Early this month, a reborn ITNOrlando began operations again, thanks to Miles, now chairman of the ITNOrlando board of directors, and $11,500 donated by local members who say the service is essential to their independence.

Click here to read the full article online

Elderly Driver Stats & Car Wrecks

March 23, 2017

The aging process will to some degree cause physical changes in an elderly driver.

One of the contributing factors in many car accidents is driver error, and that includes reaction time. And as people age, they lose the quick reaction time that can make the difference between life and death, and that fact helps explain one of the dangers of elderly drivers on U.S. roads.

“Well, we’ve seen through multiple studies and research that older drivers have a much slower reaction time when they are driving,” stated Rand Spear a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer “And that means that they can’t make rapid adjustments when something goes wrong when they are driving, which can lead to a car accident. And of course, you lose some level of cognition and memory when you grow older, which can compromise driver behavior as well. It can become the perfect storm and all it takes is one catalyst, and you have a devastating car wreck.”

 Read the full article online here

Augusta forum ponders how seniors will get around when they can no longer drive

March 19, 2017

AUGUSTA — The vast majority of senior citizens in Maine, where 72 percent of the population doesn’t have access to public transportation, plan to drive until they can’t.

But most have no plan for how they’ll get anywhere when they are no longer able to drive, though an also vast majority say in surveys they want to stay in their homes or at least in their own communities as they age.

But officials and volunteers are working on plans to create ways for Maine’s aging population to be able to age in place and still be able to get to medical appointments, grocery stores and coffee shops even when they can no longer safely get behind the wheel of a car, according to speakers Sunday at a forum, “Getting There When You Can’t Drive.”

Read the full article online here


iTNLanier transit service a savior for seniors

March 4, 2017

Program marks 1,000th ride with health system CEO at wheel

For those who can’t get around on their own, iTNLanier fills the gap.

Jon Stiehr had been shuffled back and forth to doctors’ appointments primarily by his wife Linda Stiehr until she saw an article in The Times about the driving service.

Jon and Linda were chauffeured from their home by Northeast Georgia Health System President and CEO of Carol Burrell to a celebration for the organization’s 1,000th ride Saturday.

Read the full artilce online here