New Zonar 'Count' App Tracks Students On, Off School Buses

Zonar released a new app for its vehicle tablets that allow school bus drivers to count student passengers as they board and egress the vehicle at stops.

Aptly named the Zonar Count, the Seattle-based technology firm said the app also tracks average travel time, average passenger trip length and operating costs per passenger trip to provide vehicle safety, balanced ridership and streamlined federal reporting for Medicaid reimbursements.

It also eliminates the need for student tracking paperwork necessary to track and submit information on students with special needs, the company added.

The Count will be on display at the STN EXPO Trade Show on July 11 in Reno, Nevada, a company spokesman confirmed on Tuesday, a day after the app was announced in a press release. He added that Count becomes a more robust solution with the use of the Z Pass student tracking solution as it allows fleet managers to see exactly where the students got on or off the bus.

The app can only be used when the school bus is not in motion and the driver “wakes up” the tablet. Drivers use the touch screen to conduct the count and transmit the data to a secure database for immediate access through Zonar’s Ground Traffic Control.

“We built Zonar Count to help managers better understand how their fleets perform so they could make their vehicles safer and routes more efficient for drivers and passengers,” said H. Kevin Mest, senior vice president and general manager of passenger services at Zonar. “Operations managers would know how many students were actually riding a route in comparison to how many were assigned, providing a key productivity metric to right size fleets to actual load counts and accurately capturing state ridership information for state reporting.”