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Bainbridge Island, WA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: This pilot project aims to help older adults travel events at the local senior center, as well as shopping trips, medical appointments and cultural activities. Over a 12-week period, the senior center worked with volunteer and contracted drivers to provide transportation on weekdays. The center deployed its passenger bus, as well as a transit van and personal vehicles, to provide on-demand rides. Organizers say lessons learned during the pilot will inform plans for a permanent transportation program.

Lawrence, KS

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: Many of Lawrence's bus stops lacked shelters or seating for waiting riders. As a temporary fix, people left lawn chairs, folding chairs and benches at the bus stops, which locals nicknamed shame benches. The United Way of Douglas County stepped in to install amenities at 15 bus stops, particularly in lower income areas with high ridership. Local youth created art to decorate five existing stops, with students at a local technical school constructing custom-built shelters for another five. Project organizers hope the upgrades make the transit system more accessible to older people, people with disabilities and anyone who can't easily stand on a curb.

Orange County, NC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Public or private transit access

Description: Many bus stops in rural Orange County lacked shelters or a place to sit. To address this, the Orange County Department on Aging worked with the county's public transportation department to install new seats at 15 bus stops. Designed to maximize space at stops without enough room for a transit shelter, the seats accommodate two people and are attached to the bus stop sign. Project organizers say the seats increase accessibility in rural parts of the county, where no bus stop sign was in place. Following installation of the seats, the public transportation department committed to building permanent bus shelters in high-traffic, rural areas.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Cedar City, UT

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2019

Project Category: Roadway/sidewalks/crosswalk improvement

Description: The Iron City Tourism Bureau hoped to improve walkability along three blocks of the Cedar City's University Boulevard. To do this, the organization created an artistic crosswalk at a busy intersection, which both beatified the crossing and made it more visible to drivers. The Bureau also commissioned a mural nearby to commemorate the city's connection to Utah's national parks. To encourage people to walk and gather, they installed benches along the boulevard. New signs directed pedestrians to nearby attractions and services. Following the improvements, the Bureau reported slower traffic speeds. More murals and crosswalk art are in the works and the Bureau is advocating for bike lanes in the neighborhood.

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