The key decision

Guest columnistAugust 12, 2014 

The freedom to drive is something we expect to continue to do but what if you had to make the key decision? The decision to determine if you, or perhaps your parents can no longer safely drive. How will they get to the grocery store, a doctor’s appointment or fill prescriptions? The answer is ITNGreaterKansasCity.

Initiated in Portland, Maine in 1996 by Katherine Freund, the ITN concept pairs volunteer drivers with non-driving older adults in order to preserve their dignity and independence while encouraging safer roads for everyone. The local affiliate of ITNAmerica, ITNGreaterKansasCity was launched in Lee’s Summit in Sept. 2013.

ITNGreaterKansasCity is a non-profit transportation service for seniors 65 and older and visually impaired adults 18 and older, 24 hours daily, seven days a week all year, in the greater Kansas City metro area. ITNGreaterKansasCity maintains a modest fee based schedule and most of the ride cost is subsidized by grants and community donations thus providing a low cost alternative to older adults (who should no longer be) driving. There are no restrictions on time of day, type of destination and we provide arm-in-arm, door-through-door assistance. Tips are not permitted and payment is made with a personal transportation account, so the volunteer driver or rider never handles cash.

We are in need of volunteer drivers so we can provide more rides in Lee’s Summit.

As a volunteer, you choose the days, times and locations where you would like to drive in your own vehicle.

It is a great opportunity to give back to the community and keep the roads safe. Drivers must go through a criminal background check and have no moving violations within the past three years. Because ITNGreaterKansasCity is an affiliate of ITNAmerica, family members living in one affiliate location can volunteer to drive thus earning ride credits for low-income riders or for a family member living in another affiliate location.

Other benefits for volunteer drivers are training, mileage reimbursement and free ITN membership. For more information go to www.itngreaterkansascity.


If you have made the key decision to no longer drive or you would like to become one of our dedicated volunteer drivers, please fill out and submit a rider or volunteer application online by visiting www.itngreaterkansascity.


Remember, someone making the key decision depends on you.


Charlotte Melson is executive director for ITNGreaterKansasCity.

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