Katherine Freund

Ashoka Fellow
Portland, ME, United States, North America
Fellow Since 2012
My work: Changing norms about driving by creating a shared ride transportation approach to keep older Americans mobile.

Check out this video for more on Katherine's work:


Related TopicsTransportation, Vulnerable populations, Development & Prosperity, Human Rights & Equality, Social Entrepreneurship


This profile was prepared when Katherine Freund was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Katherine has developed a consumer-oriented, economically sustainable approach that allows a dignified and viable transition for older Americans from driving to being driven, at or before the point, where it is unsafe to operate a car. She has created a national system with a unified database, and shared brand and business rules in the cities in which it now operates. She is recreating the comfort and convenience of private automobile ownership by harnessing automobiles and both paid and volunteer drivers to provide rides 24/7, for any purpose through her organization, the Independent Transportation Network (ITN). Participants in ITN become dues-paying members of the non-profit organization and open personal transportation accounts to pay for their rides. ITN keeps fares reasonable by charging roughly half the true cost of rides and covering the balance through a diversified base of voluntary local community support. Through innovative payment plans, ITN integrates previously inaccessible private resources to help pay for rides, storing the resources in Personal Transportation Accounts and sending members monthly statements.

Having launched the national initiative in 2005—from a pilot in Portland, Maine—Katherine is exploring significantly extending the model to address need in more sparsely populated areas. The extension—called ITN Everywhere—is piloting in communities in Maine and New York.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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