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In preparation for the new school year, Gov. Gary Herbert joined students and parents from Highland Park Elementary School on Thursday to promote school walking groups as a greener, cleaner alternative to carpools.

A free app from the Utah Department of Transportation is supposed to help students ditch carpools and set up walking school bus groups. The app allows parents to create and join walking groups, send messages to coordinate leading walks and notify other parents when students have arrived at school.

Since the app's launch one year ago, more than 500 walking school bus groups have been created across the state, and parents and students using the app reduced 91,000 car trips and 37 million grams of CO2 emissions, walked 88,000 miles and burned 8.8 million calories.

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