THE BRONX - A new program is encouraging Bronx residents to step up and use the stairs to stay fit.

Montefiore Medical Center architects Lawrence Murphy and Alvin Niere are the brains behind the Bronx Steps Up. Their idea is to raise money to renovate six public staircases in the borough so that more people will use them and become one step closer to healthy living.

A smartphone app is in the works to track progress with a GPS and scan codes along Bronx stairs. A staircase walk and run event is also being planned for this October.