[Editors note — this is a continuation of 12-part feature by The Wall Street Journal profiling “pioneers who are shaping the way Americans will live, work and play in later life.”]
Number Six — Staying Mobile
For millions of people, driving at some point will become impractical. How, then, to get to the supermarket, or to friends’ homes?
A near-tragedy 20 years ago in the life of Katherine Freund is yielding some answers.
In 1988, Ms. Freund’s 3-year-old son was hit by a car and nearly killed. The driver was 84 years old. That event sparked an interest in transportation issues that led, in the mid-1990s, to the development of the Independent Transportation Network.
The program offers rides — round the clock, seven days a week — to older adults in the Portland, Maine, area. Fees average $8 a trip. Riders can trade in their cars and get credit for travel; volunteer drivers can bank their hours on the road to use later for themselves or family.
Ms. Freund, 57, serves as president and executive director of ITNAmerica, which has grown into a national organization. While in Portland the program provides nearly 17,000 rides a year to about 1,000 members age 65 and older, ITNAmerica now has nine affiliates, which provided almost 26,000 rides last year, and expects to have 40 affiliates by 2010.
–By Kelly Greene, The Wall Street Journal
Tomorrow — Spreading Financial Literacy.