The University of Alabama Birmingham is kick starting a new program to get people up and moving. It's called the ‘Walking Bus.' Just like an actual bus, the walking version has designated routes, stops and even drivers.
Passengers walk together as a group to reach their destination. On Wednesday afternoon the first Walking Bus took off from UAB's campus and traveled to Rail Road Park. Organizers say the idea is to give people a healthy and safe option to popular spots in downtown and show the community Birmingham is a "walkable" city.
Longtime Downtown Birmingham resident, Valerie Wilson, said she was ready to put her walking shoes on the moment she learned about the new program.
"It's a motivator and also it's one of those things that puts getting healthy on your mind. It's something that everyone can do without equipment and it doesn't cost you anything," said Wilson.
The university recently surveyed students and neighbors in the area. Adrienne Milner, Ph.D., teaching assistant professor of sociology, says they used the information to design the walking bus routes.
"Actually using destinations where people already go. They're already going to work. They're already going to the grocery store. They're already going out to happy hour or to dinner with friends. So, let's try to get them to walk there instead of driving," explained Milner.
The regularly scheduled walks will kick off Thursday. There are six bus routes and stops that will connect passengers in four Birmingham neighborhoods, UAB, Five Points South, Lakeview and Downtown. Milner says they hope to add more in the future.
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