Pandemic slows down ITNSuncoast transport services

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10/31/2018 – Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) is one of the alternatives to passengers who previously relied on ITNSunCoast for transportation.

COVID-19 claimed another victim.

ITNSuncoast announced the suspension of its services as of Thursday, September 16.

Since 2010, the non-profit organization has provided transportation services in Sarasota and Manatee counties to seniors and others in need.

The organization stopped accepting reservations for rides on Wednesday.

“Due to the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we suddenly found ourselves facing an insufficient number of volunteer drivers to adequately meet the community’s demand for transportation assistance,” Deral Pitts, ITNSuncoast executive director, said.

“Our hope is that we can come together as an organization, build a fleet of the right size volunteer drivers and resume operations at some point in the future,” Pitts said.

ITNSun Coast has provided thousands of rides to people throughout Southwest Florida who needed help getting to doctor’s appointments, social services, grocery stores, pharmacies, libraries, as well than in restaurants, theaters, etc.

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10/31/2018 – Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) is one of the alternatives to passengers who previously relied on ITNSunCoast for transportation. Bradenton Herald File Photo

To support the community as the organization regroups, ITNSuncoast provide a list of transport alternatives on its website, itnsuncoast.org, and on its social media platforms facebook.com/ITNSuncoast and twitter.com/ITNSuncoast. In addition, the organization communicates with users of its services by email and telephone.

Since 2010, the organization has offered rides for any reason, seven days a week, any time of the day or night, throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Alternatives available for older people who have used IBDSuncoast understand:

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT), 941-749-7116, www.mymanatee.org/departments/mcat/riding_mcat/.

Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT Plus), 941-861-1234, www.scgov.net/government/departments/scat-bus-service/fares-and-information.

Consider it’s done, 941-896-4089, www.consideritdoneami.com.

Medical transport, 941-924-4990, www.doctorstransport.com.

Seniors on the Go, 941-444-0569, https://cardman1.wixsite.com/seniorsotg

Lyft- Nationwide, 631-201-5938 (no application needed), www.lyft.com/rider/call-a-lyft-ride.

Uber – Nationwide, www.uber.com.

This story was originally published September 15, 2021 3:32 pm.

James A. Jones Jr. covers business news for the Bradenton Herald. Enlisted in the Army in 1966, he served in the Vietnam War as a Signals Officer. He is the author of “Oh, honey!” Choice and struggle in the era of Sputnik, the Vietnam War and the new millennium.
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