Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution authored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME), recognizing the Independent Transportation Network of America (ITN) on providing its one millionth ride to older and visually impaired individuals.
“As our nation’s overall population grows older and lives longer, there is a serious need to provide seniors access to the transportation options necessary for them to maintain their independence,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This resolution not only recognizes ITN America on providing its one millionth ride to older and visually impaired individuals, it also honors the army of volunteer, drivers, and generous local support that have made this organization the nation’s leading model for community-based, sustainable senior transportation.”
As the Chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee and the Senate Aging Committee, Senator Collins has long worked to raise awareness about the transportation challenges seniors face, particularly in rural areas. In 2013, she chaired a hearing to discuss how transportation is necessary for older Americans to maintain their independence and invited the Founder and President of ITN, Katherine Freund, to testify.
ITN, which was founded in Portland more than two decades ago, has grown into a nationwide network that gives hundreds of rides every day to seniors in a dozen states coast-to-coast. Comprised of 13 affiliates, the network taps into community-level social capital, with affiliates pairing older and visually impaired riders with drivers and volunteers operating private vehicles. ITN rides are available for any purpose, from medical appointments to recreational trips, and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A companion resolution was introduced in the House by U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME).
Click HERE to read the resolution.