Archive for the ‘ITNAmerica’ Category

Everyday Heroes

July 17, 2017

ITNAmerica founder and executive director Katherine Freund was featured on everydayheroesproject.com, a multimedia project that tells the stories of ordinary people transforming their communities.

From the Everyday Heroes website: “These unsung heroes work on the ground to raise their neighbors out of poverty and help the needy when public institutions fail. We share their stories in hopes that you too will hear the call to action and help those who need it most.”

That’s exactly what ITNAmerica does, and what Katherine has spent decades doing — working to support our neighbors. In ITNAmerica‘s case, it’s our older neighbors we’re focusing on, making sure they have access to safe, reliable transportation. Because mobility is part of a healthy fulfilling life.

We’re excited to see Katherine recognized as an everyday hero. Read the full story here.

Rural Rides and the New York Times

June 20, 2017

Mobility is an important issue, one affecting Americans of all stripes. This past weekend the New York Times opinion section printed a piece on the transportation challenges facing communities, particularly rural places, and included a quote from ITNAmerica Executive Director Katherine Freund. When it comes to mobility solutions, ITNAmerica is at the forefront of the conversation.

Read the full article here.

Getting the Word Out: 92.7 WGMD’s Bob Steele Interviews ITNAmerica and ITNSouthernDelaware

June 5, 2017

Milton, DE – May 24, 2017 - ITNAmerica President Katherine Freund and ITNSouthernDelaware Executive Director Janis Hanwell were interviewed on radio station WGMD 92.7 for Bob Steele’s Out & About program! Click the link below to listen to the entire interview.

WGMD 2017 Interview with Katherine and Janis

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 www.itnamerica.org or send email inquiries to info@itnamerica.org. You can also visit www.ridesinsight.org, or call 1-855-60-RIDES to find transportation options in your local area.

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

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

 

Age-Friendly Maine News: ITNCountry and Age Friendly Communities in Maine

June 15, 2016

ITNCountry and Age Friendly Communities in MaineFor more than 20 years, the Independent Transportation Network has provided door-through-door and arm-through-arm transportation for older people and people with visual impairments in the Greater Portland area. Using both paid and volunteer drivers, ITN provides rides 24/7 in private automobiles, and it is does not rely on taxpayer dollars. Some ITN members have used the service from more than 18 years. Although 40 percent of rides are for healthcare, ITN takes people to work, to shopping and to the hairdresser. Members even use the service to take pets to the veterinarian or to go on dates.

Maine has almost 500 municipalities, so over the years, many communities have reached out to ITN to expand service to their older or visually impaired residents. Until now, ITN always had to say “sorry.” Now there may be a way to offer ITN’s innovative programs to communities of every size, in Maine and other states.

The new approach is called ITNCountry and ITN’s founder, Katherine Freund, is already working with several small and rural communities in Maine, as well as one each in Pennsylvania, Vermont and Arizona, to develop the new rural model.

There are several proposed differences between the original ITN and the rural model. The original is an entirely separate non-profit organization, but ITNCountry can be a program within another organization. The original ITN guarantees a ride 24/7 for any purpose, while ITNCountry service parameters will be established by the local communities. Because it is practically impossible to guarantee a ride 24/7 with no paid staff, the original ITN has both paid and volunteer drivers and staff. But small, rural communities often run on little or no paid staff, so ITNCountry will be designed to run with only volunteers, if that is what the community chooses to do. Another proposed difference will be how ITNCountry communities learn how to run the service. ITN will build a large on-line learning community where all of ITN’s innovative programs are taught and supported.

With all of these differences, what is proposed to stay the same? The important stuff—all of ITN’s award winning programs, like CarTrade, Transportation Social Security, Ride & Shop, Healthy Miles, Ride Services, and Personal Transportation Accounts. In these programs, older people may trade the cars they can no longer drive to cover the cost of their rides, or volunteers may earn credits for their volunteer effort and bank them to plan for their own future needs. An adult child may volunteer in Bowdoinham and send her volunteer credits to a parent who lives in Bethel, where an ITNCountry volunteer will drive her mother, father or grandparent. Merchants and healthcare providers can help pay for rides through Ride & Shop or Healthy Miles and everything, all of these programs, are built into the software. Best of all, the software will connect every participating community through one information system, across the State of Maine.

If you or your community would like to learn more or participate in ITNCountry, please contact Katherine at Katherine.Freund@ITNAmerica.org or call 207-591-6926.

Katherine Freund, ITNAmerica Founder and President Assembles An Expert Panel for Game Changing Dialogue- Senior Mobility in Transit: Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again.

January 7, 2016

Monday, January 11th from 10:15AM-12:00PM Katherine Freud will lead a discussion panel during the 95th annual Transportation Research Board Meeting in Washington, DC. The panel of experts will explore the impact of connectivity as a game changer for increasing mobility options for Seniors on a National and International basis. Experts from Uber, Lyft, AARP Life Reimagined and Princeton University will discuss new collaborations, changing expectations, special needs, smart cars and a rapidly changing landscape in senior transportation.

To view the full program scheduled, go to the interactive Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Program Guide

Road Warrior: Volunteer ride service is in high demand in Bergen County

December 7, 2015
Gloria Reinish of Emerson with her driver, Mary Lyons Kim. Reinish has been teaching electrical engineering at Fairleigh Dickinson University for more than 50 years.

Gloria Reinish of Emerson with her driver, Mary Lyons Kim. Reinish has been teaching electrical engineering at Fairleigh Dickinson University for more than 50 years.

Almost everybody knows Bergen County’s senior population is huge, but nobody was certain that a recently launched low-cost, volunteer ride service designed specifically for the elderly and visually impaired would succeed. After all, Bergen is an affluent, densely populated county with taxis, commercial bus routes, municipal senior vans and a few local senior-ride programs — to say nothing of Uber and Lyft.

But last spring, nearly all doubt was erased when phones at ITN America’s new North Jersey affiliate in Wyckoff started ringing off the hook. By November, ridership topped 100 and weekly rides reached 105.

“We knew there was big demand here because so many seniors need rides, but this is amazing,” said John Boswick, the affiliate’s president and chief executive.

Read the full article online here