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U of U Student Displays Social Entrepreneurship with CleanFare App


Nineteen-year-old Sam Hirsch has a knack for technology.

"My passion has always been in coding and app development and stuff like that," said Hirsch.

Early on, Hirsch said he wanted to use his skills to make a difference in his community.

"Obviously, air pollution is such a pressing issue here in Salt Lake," said Hirsch.

He connected his passion with a need, in a display of social entrepreneurship, and designed CleanFare. CleanFare is an app dedicated to improving health, society and environment, here in Salt Lake, by encouraging and rewarding the use of alternative transit, according to Hirsch.

The original app was born out of a competition at the Leonardo when Hirsch was in high school. He said, it was, "Just meant to get people out of their cars into more sustainable forms of transit, so walking, biking, taking the bus, anything like that."

As a freshmen at the Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah, he went back to the drawing board, and created an app that's more diverse than the original.

"You open the app, press start tracking, tell us what mode of transportation you're using and the app starts tracking you right away," said Hirsch.

The app will keep you honest.

"If you hit walking and then suddenly we realize you're in a car, we're going to send you a notification that you need to be walking. We've canceled this trip," said Hirsch.

As Hirsch gets ready to start his sophomore year, he already has plans for where he'll take the app next.

"As you're using the app, you're racking up miles and you get fun achievements for different distances and each of those achievements will come with a discount to a local business," said Hirsch.

He says CleanFare is about forming a community between businesses and individuals who both want to help the environment.