One expense vital to elders’ health and mobility is transportation. Whether it is depending on a car or public transportation, elders have to factor in this expense and it can get quite costly. The Independent Transportation Network® (ITN) is a nonprofit organization that offers affordable, dignified transportation to elders though its affiliates in eight states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Maine. This is uniquely operated and allows seniors unable to drive to participate in the CarTrade™ program, which allows them to trade in their car for transportation credits.
ITN is a great example of volunteers taking control to assist their communities. Volunteer drivers can earn and store mileage credits that they can use when they transition to the passenger seat. It’s called Transportation Social Security™. Volunteers can also choose to donate the credits they earn to low income seniors who apply for help through the Road Scholarship™ program.
Though not all communities have an ITN® affiliate or similar organization, it is encouraging to see innovative and leading examples like this one. The Elder Economic Security Standard Index™ (Elder Index) maps out elders’ transportation costs by geographic location, whether in a rural or urban setting, to more accurately portray true costs. In communities without a free or affordable elder transportation system, the Elder Index can help advocate for such a system or to fund programs that advocate for elder economic security more generally.