City of Jackson accepts AARP grant

JACKSON Tenn. — Representatives for the City of Jackson accepted an AARP Community Challenge grant of $35,500 through a virtual check presentation.

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This grant will be used to improve the city’s transportation accessibility by creating a smartphone app that provides real-time information about public buses.

“The grant that we received is enough funding for the hardware to hard wire 12 buses, and then the software to start the bus tracking app,” said Lauren Kirk, Director of Performance Management.

The city was one of only 184 grantees selected from across all 50 states to receive the grant.

Kirk was the person to write the grant. She says it doesn’t matter whether you’re driving a car or riding a bus, she wants to make sure the community is comfortable for people in Jackson.

“It’s intimidating when you’re competing against thousands communities nationwide for a little slice of the pie, but I’m really proud to have gotten this on behalf of the city,” Kirk said. “But my most important work is to make sure that the quality of life in Jackson is the highest it can be for everybody.”

The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas like transportation, public spaces, housing, civic engagement and coronavirus response.

The community will have the opportunity to contribute to the challenge.

“Sharing about it on social media or saying, ‘Hey I want to help.’ I know someone who relies on public transportation, and they might not know how to use this app,” Kirk said. “Once we get to a place where we can be in-person and train people, we’re going to have some opportunity to train on how to use the app.”

To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge in Jackson, including all 184 granted projects this year, click here.

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