Part of our vision for ITNAmerica as a national solution to the need for senior transportation was an annual retreat. We wanted there to be a time and place for ITN Affiliate Communities to share what they have learned. On October 22 and 23, that is exactly what we did. From Los Angeles and San Diego to Orlando and Sarasota, with Lexington, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Charleston in between, we came together as one senior transportation family here in Maine, in our old brick mill on the river, to learn and think together about the people we serve — older drivers, caregivers, healthcare providers, adult children, and most of all, older people who need door-through-door and arm-through-arm transportation.
Every ITN Affiliate Community has the same shared mission: To provide a community-based, community supported, economically viable and consumer-oriented, quality transportation service for seniors and adults with visual impairment.
But there are so many ways this can be done. What makes an ITN — Independent Transportation Network — affiliate community so special? I think it’s all in the mission:
Community-based and community supported — this means that every ITN is an independent, charitable, non-profit corporation with its own local Board of Directors, supported locally with volunteer drivers, charitable donations, car donations and CarTrade™, and shared annual community outreach events, like the Walk for Rides™.
Economically viable — this means that economic sustainability derives from reasonable fares from the people who use the service and a diversified base of local, community support. ITN Affiliate Communities may use public resources for up to 50% of their start up funds in the first 5 years, but after that, they do not use public funds for operating expenses. ITN supplements publicly funded service; it does not compete with it or replace it. We’re partners with public transit, not competitors.
Consumer-oriented, quality transportation service — ITN is always, entirely about the people we serve. That is why ITN is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any purpose, without restriction. We use automobiles exclusively, and a combination of paid and volunteer drivers so we can provide service whenever an ITN member needs a ride. It is the service older people need and want.
At the retreat, we talked about our corporate partners, like Liberty Mutual, about the portal we use to share tools, like the Executive Dashboard, the Wiki and the Forum, about 5 year budgets, volunteer recruitment, and of course our Max and Helen Israelite Volunteer of the Year Awards.
We’d love you to join us. If you’d like more information about how to start an ITN Affiliate in your community, please email info@ITNAmerica.org. We will be happy to answer your questions.