iTNSunCoast is expanding its service area south. “We have received a number of calls from people living in the Northport and Englewood areas who have requested our services, so we now provide rides in those areas”, said Arthur Lerman, Executive Director. “When you are in your 80s and 90s and no longer drive, getting around is very challenging. Taking care of necessities, like food shopping or going to doctor’s appointments, or doing things that give life meaning, like going to church, the theater, or having lunch with friends, can be overwhelming. iTNSunCoast is here to keep people connected to the community when driving is no longer safe or practical.”
iTNSunCoast is a Sarasota based, non-profit organization providing rides to individuals who are at least sixty years old and adults of any age with vision impairments. The organization’s mission is to help individuals maintain their independence and live joyful and meaningful lives through a convenient, comfortable and affordable transportation option. Started in 2009 through a joint effort between Jewish Family and Children’s Services of the Suncoast and The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, iTNSunCoast has provided more than 30,000 rides.
Rides are available for any reason, any day of the week at any time anywhere from Northport to Bradenton. Rides are provided mostly by volunteer drivers who use their own cars. To make a ride request you need to become a member of iTNSunCoast and call to make a ride request by noon the day before you need a ride. Drivers provide whatever support an individual needs to get from their home to the vehicle and from the vehicle to their destination.
“We know there are many people in the Venice/Englewood/Northport area who could benefit from our services and do not know we exist”, said Linda Davis, a member of the iTNSunCoast Board of Directors. “We are going to make an extra effort this year to make people in south Sarasota County aware of the services we provide.”
“By the way,” added Davis,” in case it comes up when playing Trivial Pursuit, “iTN” stands for independent transportation network”.