SEATTLE, Wash. – Zonar, the leader in smart mobility solutions, today announced the availability of OnRoute, delivering clear, accurate, turn-by-turn directions for school bus fleets in real-time. Recognized as an award-winning solution in the 2023 BIG Innovation Awards for the Transportation & Travel category, OnRoute provides better routes, reliability, and punctuality for both substitute and veteran drivers.
The number of substitute bus operators has increased in recent years. Though these drivers are critical to operations and student safety, they may often be required to drive unfamiliar routes, making turn-by-turn and stop-by-stop directions a must-have.
Joining a suite of patented Zonar solutions for school bus fleets, OnRoute includes OnRoute Record, a patented, route-agnostic, driver-facing app which captures route details as drivers go, including the vehicle path, stop locations and names, curbside directions, and trip duration details all pulled directly from the vehicle’s Zonar GPS unit. As drivers record their routes, dispatch can remotely review, edit, and approve them – or create them from scratch – using a drag-and-drop interface, in real-time, through the OnRoute Management portal.
When the most precise route has been identified, drivers receive turn-by-turn directions on their tablets, with mapping functionality that is responsive to real-world road developments, helping fleets stay on track and keeping students out of harm’s way.
“Zonar has a long history of introducing innovative, patented student transportation technology that provides not only more, but better data and technology for improving the safety of students and enabling the most efficient operation of fleets,” said H. Kevin Mest, Senior Vice President and GM of Passenger Services at Zonar. “Given the ever-increasing focus on student safety not only at school, but also while traveling to and from school, it is imperative that our drivers have the real-time, detailed routing data and reporting that OnRoute delivers.”
Many of today’s mapping providers are not capable of displaying real-time road conditions that drivers need to know. With the inclusion of OnRoute Record, OnRoute accounts for unique routes, such as for field trips, sporting events, and other off-campus activities. The solution also supports student safety by recording and reporting on busy streets and hazardous zones to avoid, as well as developments in new roads, private roads, and school driveways.
“With ongoing staff shortages across the nation, our substitute operators have become vital to ensuring children have a safe, reliable ride to and from school. However, many substitutes aren’t familiar with the students and routes they are assigned,” said Melissa Castle, Location Manager for Mid Columbia Bus Company, which serves the Forest Grove School District in Oregon.
“OnRoute provides a very user-friendly program that required little training to meet our operational needs. Once our routes were recorded, my dispatch could edit them easily and drivers were able skip stops or start mid-route if necessary. With OnRoute, our minds are at ease knowing our substitute drivers are equipped with up-to-the-minute information for accuracy, safety, and efficiency.”
Founded in 2001, Zonar has pioneered smart mobility solutions throughout vocational, pupil, mass transit and commercial trucking industries. The Zonar mission is to enhance the safety, performance, and success of our customers by transforming the delivery of innovative insights for commercial fleets around the world. Zonar achieves this by helping fleets of all sizes maximize the use of their assets with solutions dedicated to improving compliance, efficiency, maintenance, ridership visibility, safety, and tracking. Cloud-based services with open APIs drive Zonar smart mobility solutions by making it easy for fleet owners and managers to stay connected to their fleets and drivers and operators to dispatch. Headquartered in Seattle and part of the Continental family, Zonar also has a Technology Development Center in downtown Seattle and a distribution center in West Chicago.