October 29, 2010 – Seattle, WA – In 2001, Zonar Systems installed the first Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR®) system ever installed, and it was on a yellow school bus. Today, over 100,000 vehicles are equipped with Zonar technologies throughout North America. This growth provides Zonar the opportunity for continued investment in innovation for the industry at the company’s foundation – investments that yield new opportunities and solutions for the Pupil Transportation industry.
“In 2009, Freeport Schools won the ZONAR/NAPT Transportation Equipment Grant,” stated Dallas Rackow, Director of Transportation for Freeport Schools. “I applied for the Grant because I wanted to transform our pupil transportation department into a model of safety, security and operational leadership.”
Rackow continues, “Since a school bus is a 6-ton moving vehicle, you want to know you are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the children. The list of improvements enabled by Zonar’s Electronic Fleet Management system is long, but here are my top five:
• Electronic Vehicle Inspections verify that pre- and post-trip inspections are getting done. I used to randomly place sticky notes on inspection points to ensure performance. Thanks to EVIR those days are long gone.
• Ground Traffic Control provides idle reports that we used to educate drivers about the cost of unnecessary idling. Idling dropped after I placed a data board in the drivers’ lounge showing possible saving and what that money could purchase for the school.
• GPS on the bus has made it possible to monitor speed and eased the paperwork burden including providing proof of safe railroad crossings, as required by state law.
• Engine Diagnostics has allowed us to intervene when the check engine light has come on, so we can protect the operation of the equipment and safety of the riders.
• Student Ridership Tracking has eliminated the anxiety associated with locating a child that didn’t get off the bus. What used to take 15 minutes is now 30 seconds with ZPass. We can also produce our Medicaid reimbursement paperwork automatically for the special needs students riding the bus.
The flexibility to monitor activities such as field trips, on my blackberry, is something I can no longer live without. This has been a win for the schools, parents, students and the community.”
Enabling success stories like that of Freeport Schools is just one example of the positive results facilitated by investment in the industry. In terms of innovative technologies, Zonar is introducing two new products during this year’s NAPT Annual Summit.
The first of the two offerings is the latest version of the company’s patented ZPassTM solution. The new, improved ZPass hardware is roughly half the size of the original, includes several new functionalities requested by customers and is offered at half the price of the original.
In addition to the new ZPass, Zonar’s commitment to customer-driven ingenuity has led to the company’s next major product development. In 2011, Zonar will introduce the Pupil Transportation industry to ZRoute. The most robust, user-friendly routing solution ever available.