Capitol Connection: Helping Neighbors, One Ride at a Time

June 24, 2014

What if you could make a big difference in someone’s life…in just two hours a week?

What if you could do something to save seniors and the visually impaired from isolation in their homes?

One local organization makes all this possible. The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) North Central Connecticut provides affordable, dignified, door-through-door rides within North Central Connecticut. And, the organization is looking for new volunteer drivers.

This unique service helps riders shop and pick out their items, go to doctor appointments, bingo – even lunch with friends. Transportation is offered to seniors and people with visual impairments, and volunteers keep the program running.

ITN stresses that transportation is the link to independence, quality of life and social interaction. Volunteer drivers under this program fill a crucial gap.

Here’s how the service works. Those who wish to utilize the service pay an annual membership fee of $40. Ride charges during the day are a $4 pickup fee and $1.59 per mile. In return, riders enjoy peace of mind knowing that a clean, private car and safe, experienced driver can be scheduled around the clock, 365 days a year. They also benefit in that they do not have to ask for favors, plan around the schedules of others, use public tax dollars, travel in groups, or make their way to a pick-up point to reach their destination. Volunteer drivers donate their time, and have all their mileage reimbursed.

The service seeks to make life easier, one ride at a time. Currently, the ITN service operates in the following areas: Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor, Windsor Locks.

Care Across Connecticut

ITN is one of many amazing organizations that support the special needs of community members.

In Litchfield County, for example, we also have the Northwestern Connecticut Transit District serving 16 towns with a Dial-A-Ride service from Norfolk to New Hartford and everywhere in-between.

Many individual towns have their own Dial-A-Ride door-to-door programs as well, including Simsbury, Canton, Avon and Torrington.

Transportation services are also offered by organizations like VNA Health Care, which provides a full range of home care, hospice and community-based health and wellness services across the state.

Getting Involved

Without dedicated volunteers many of these organizations, services and support systems would not exist today. Every small volunteer act makes an impact and keeps these programs running. And there is always room for new volunteers.

To volunteer with ITN visit their website; call Margaret Smith Hale, Executive Director, at 860-758-7833; or email [email protected].

To learn about the Northwestern Connecticut Transit District visit Information about local town-based Dial-A-Ride programs can also be found on your town website or by contacting town hall.

Finally, to volunteer with VNA Health Care and support the visiting care givers, check out or call (860) 493-7166.