Posts Tagged ‘Independent Transportation Network’

Lexington Herald Leader: It’s like Uber for seniors — complete with ‘arm-through-arm’ walk to the door

December 11, 2016

ITNBluegrass Executive Director Laura Dake stands with rider Jack Carty. Carty, 88, works five to six days a week and gets rides from ITNBluegrass to get there. Photo provided BY TOM MARTIN

Laura Dake is executive director of ITN or Independent Transportation Network-Bluegrass. Due to a recent injury that left me temporarily unable to drive, I turned to ITN for transportation around Lexington and quickly discovered what an important difference this nonprofit is making in so many lives in the Bluegrass area. So, I invited Laura to share information about her organization.

Q: First, a brief history on the origins of ITN-Buegrass.

A: About 10 years ago or so, ITN-America decided to launch its model nationwide. In 2007, a lady named Gale Reece had recently retired and was looking for a project in the local community that had something to do with aging. She was particularly interested in housing, but went to the city of Lexington and was told that the real issue in this area was transportation — that people couldn’t really live in their homes without the transportation to get places. They found that ITN-America had started to launch their model nationwide, submitted an application to ITN-America, and it was accepted. I came onboard as a fundraiser because the requirement was that the affiliate needed to raise about $125,000 in order to start.

 Read the full article online here

Northampton Press: Transportation service created for independent seniors

September 1, 2016
Lois Favier, executive director of ITNLehighValley (Independent Transportation Network), hosted a 10,000 Ride Celebration in January for drivers and riders to get together and celebrate this service.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Lois Favier, executive director of ITNLehighValley (Independent Transportation Network), hosted a 10,000 Ride Celebration in January for drivers and riders to get together and celebrate this service. ITNLehighValley is a national nonprofit transportation service for senior citizens and visually impaired adults in the Lehigh Valley.

Lois Favier moved back to the Lehigh Valley several years ago to be on hand and closer to help her elderly parents. Favier, like many other adult children of seniors, was concerned with her parents driving on their own to appointments, errands and leisure activities. After sharing this concern with others, she learned, aside from herself providing transportation or the use of public transit, there were not a lot of options for her parents to utilize, while still feeling a sense of independence, safety and affordability. Favier started looking into creating a nonprofit affiliate of ITNAmerica (Independent Transportation Network) for the Lehigh Valley and began putting the wheels in motion for making this dream a reality.

Favier approached the national organization in Maine on how to go about establishing an affiliate. She conducted a demographic study of the local area and determined this would be successful in the Lehigh Valley.

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.

The Californian: We Could Car Less: Rides for the blind and elderly

February 12, 2016
ITN Monterey County volunteer driver John Brandt

ITN Monterey County volunteer driver John Brandt. (Photo: Jay Dunn/The Salinas Californian)

Jon Brandt of Salinas gives rides in his car to elderly or blind people who cannot drive. Brandt is a volunteer driver for the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) that provides more than 270 automobile rides a week in Monterey County. Brandt says he volunteers to show respect to seniors. “I meet so many interesting people,” Brandt said. “I enjoy it.”

Aimee Cuda is the director ITN Monterey County. “Our clients get rides to every kind of errand, from doctor visits to social events.” One client even gets a ride to and from her job every day. “The ITN ride service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year,” Cuda said, A ride must be arranged before 2 p.m. on the day before it is needed. ITN provides arm-through-arm service, not just door to door. “Our drivers make sure the clients gets to their destinations with dignity and safety,” said Cuda.

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CapeGazette.com: Westminster Presbyterian contracts with ITN Southern Delaware

January 26, 2016

Shown are in back (l-r) Mission Committee members Mark Evans, Elsie Marshall and Jim Reed. In front are Pastor Frank Deming, ITN rides coordinator Janis Hanwell and Mission Committee Chair Faith Duncan.

Westminster Presbyterian Church has contracted with Independent Transportation Network Southern Delaware to provide transportation for any church member to and from any church service or event.

ITN Southern Delaware recently began operations providing safe and affordable transportation services to seniors and the visually impaired in Sussex County. Aware that some senior church members could be or will be in need of these services, the Westminster Mission Committee agreed to provide this service for a trial period.

 Read the full article online here

Lexington Herald Leader: Tom Eblen: Non-profit transportation network celebrates 50,000 rides in seven years

January 26, 2016

Roger Parry drove Ruth Mercer, left, and Ethel Stepp on Dec. 11 on the 50,000th trip of ITN Bluegrass, a non-profit organization that provides transportation for elderly and visually impaired people in Lexington. Laura Dake

Ruth Mercer hasn’t been able to drive for some time, so when doctors last spring told her husband, Jerry, that he should quit driving, she was concerned how they would get around.

The couple recently gave up their home of 43 years off Clays Mill Road to move into an apartment at their daughter’s house, but they didn’t want to be constantly asking her for transportation

Then somebody told them about ITN Bluegrass, a non-profit agency that gives rides to people older than 60 or with visual impairment in Lexington and parts of Jessamine and Woodford counties.

“It has afforded me a lot of freedom,” said Mercer, who uses the service two or three times a week. “I really appreciate what they do. I don’t feel like I’m in a cab. I feel like I’m having a friend drive me.”

 Read the full article online here

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

CapeGazette.com: Members of ITN Southern Delaware to get free transportation to medical eye care services

October 13, 2015

ITNSouthernDelaware is proud to recognize Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. as a corporate sponsor committed to helping raise awareness of the challenges associated with low vision, vision impairment, senior mobility issues, and the shortage of locally-available transportation options for seniors.

One way Regeneron is assisting ITN is by sponsoring ITNSouthernDelaware‘s provision of funding for transportation to and from medical eye care services for all ITN riders. This means that members who need transportation to or from an eye appointment or eye procedure will have their rides funded by Regeneron!

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West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka proclaimed Sept. 24, 2015 ITNCentralCT Day

October 2, 2015

SEPT. 24, 2015 – WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – In honor of ITNCentralCT‘s 10,000th ride and the 20th anniversary of the Independent Transportation Network as a whole, the Town Council of West Hartford declared Sept. 24, 2015 to be “ITNCentralCT Day.”

Mayor Scott Slifka presented ITNCentralCT Executive Director Kevin Farmer with the Proclamation at the West Hartford Town Council Meeting at the West Hartford Town Hall. Watch a video of the presentation from 42:58 to 48:18 here.

ITNCentralCT‘s Kevin Farmer, upon accepting the Proclamation, stated: “Our greatest need is to grow so we can serve our community. We need additional volunteers and financial supporters, and this proclamation will help us along that pathway.”

West Hartford’s Town Council has been instrumental in bringing the Independent Transportation Network to Connecticut, and specifically in promoting and supporting ITNCentralCT‘s mission of providing sustainable, community-based transportation services for seniors and adults with visual impairment, thereby preserving and promoting independence. ITNCentralCT provides safe, affordable, arm-through-arm, door-through-door rides any time, for any reason.

Mayor Slifka, and former Mayor Jonathan Harris, started working with ITNAmerica in 2003. This collaboration led to the creation of ITNCentralCT, which first started giving rides in April 2009. ITNCentralCT is headquartered in Room 216 in West Hartford Town Hall, and enjoys financial and volunteer support throughout its fifteen-town service area, from Middletown in the south, to West Hartford in the north.

Learn more about ITNCentralCT online at www.itncentralct.org.

Harvard Health Publications: Stay behind the wheel longer

September 25, 2015

A driving assessment program can help identify your strengths and weaknesses and suggest ways to improve your driving skills. The sense of freedom and independence that comes with driving is as important at 65 as it is at 16. But driving skills may start to falter as we age, an issue many people choose to ignore. “We all seem to be in denial about driving in our older years. No one wants to give it up. The good news is that you may not have to,” says Lissa Kapust, a social worker at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Read the entire article here