Sen. Kissel Praises Independent Transportation Network

May 16, 2008

State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) today is praising the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) of North Central Connecticut for their work in bringing to his attention legislative matters that were delaying the launch of the transportation service. Sen. Kissel, along with Sen. Donald J. DeFronzo (D-New Britain) and Sen. Jonathan Harris (D-West Hartford) were commended by the group for their efforts to clear up some critical legal issues concerning volunteer drivers.

According to Sen. Kissel, the ITN was having difficulty finding volunteer drivers because of a law requiring the volunteers to have livery licenses. With the help of the Senators, this requirement has been lifted as well as obstacles regarding insurance coverage for each volunteer driver.

“I’d like to commend Margaret Hale Smith (Executive Director of the ITN of North Central Connecticut) for raising these critical issues. I also want to thank my senate colleagues for assisting in these efforts to rectify these matters,” said Sen. Kissel. “I am so pleased that we were able to work together to help ITN get everything in order so that they can continue with their estimated launch in early October. The service they will provide is invaluable to our community and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Sen. Kissel is the former ranking member of the legislature’s Select Committee on Aging as well as current ranking Senator of the Human Services Committee. During his tenure on both these committees, he worked closely with Sen. Harris to develop the ITN. Through their efforts the town of Enfield and surrounding communities along with the town of West Hartford were among the first to receive planning grants. The program will consist of volunteer drivers who will offer their services to the regions elderly population.

The Independent Transportation Network of North Central Connecticut consists of the towns of Enfield, Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Granby, Somers, Suffield, South Windsor, Windsor and Windsor Locks. Their mission is to provide a comprehensive alternative means of transportation for seniors 60 and older and people with visual impairments.

“We need to give our growing senior population more access to transportation. The ITN does this without creating a large financial burden,” said Sen. Kissel. “This program allows people to volunteer their time to help our elderly go to the grocery store or a medical appointment. It’s a great program, with great leadership and volunteers, and I am glad that we were able to help.”

Applications for Volunteer Drivers and Members can be downloaded at the ITN website