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UDOT Urges Kids To Walk And Bike Safely To School This Spring

Mar 27, 2015 09:16AM ● Published by City Journals Staff

UDOT launches effort to increase use of Walking School Bus app, which reduces car trips and emissions while burning calories.

The Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) Student Neighborhood Access Program (SNAP) today launched an effort called “Spring Walk ‘N’ Win” to increase use of its Walking School Bus app, which helps kids safely walk to and from school. The safety-focused app encourages parents to ditch carpools and assists them in creating and coordinating walking groups.

During “Spring Walk ‘N’ Win,” which runs through April 30, parents and students are automatically entered in a contest for donated prizes, including bikes, scooters and an overnight stay at a bed and breakfast, each time they use the Walking School Bus app to walk or bike to and from school. A grand prize of $500, breakfast, and a walk to school with the Utah Jazz Bear will be randomly awarded to a Walking School Bus group.  

Since the app’s launch in August of 2014, more than 260 walking school bus groups at 163 schools statewide have been created. By using the Walking School Bus app, Utah parents and students have:

• Reduced 37,000 trips.
• Eliminated 12.4 million emissions.
• Walked nearly 30,000 miles. 
• Burned more than 2.9 million calories.

As part of its early success, four states and two countries are currently interested in adopting the UDOT Walking School Bus app.

“The Walking School Bus app is a great way for parents to communicate and coordinate in one place so we can get our kids to school safely,” said Misty Vrieze PTA co-president at Nibley Park Elementary School. “It also helps me keep track of my calories burned and car trips saved, which makes me feel like I am making a difference.”

UDOT’s Walking School Bus app also alerts parents when students have arrived at school, allows parents to search for existing walking groups, tracks how many miles parents and children walk, and parents can send group texts within the app.

The free Walking School Bus app is available for download for iPhone and Android devices. For more information visit www.udot.utah.gov/walkingschoolbus.     
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