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.
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.