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Zonar Delivers COVID-19 Driver and Passenger Resources and Solutions for a Safe Return Back to School

SEATTLE, Wash. — Zonar, the leader in smart fleet technology, today announced its COVID-19 Return to School Safety Solutions, a suite of dedicated compliance resources and configurable software solutions designed to establish new COVID-19 safety protocols for school bus drivers, students and fleet managers when schools return to in-person learning. Through these offerings, schools can more safely resume operations with readily available resources to adapt to rapidly changing requirements. Zonar’s COVID-19 Return to School Safety Solutions enable fleet managers and drivers to create more touchless experiences, address student tracking, ensure verified sanitization of buses, aid in contact tracing, with numerous options for funding.

School districts are experiencing unprecedented disruptions due to COVID-19. With some lockdown restrictions easing, decision-makers must address the urgency and complexity of reopening their schools. One of the biggest challenges will be to adjust working conditions and adopt new safety practices in order to reinforce parent, staff and driver confidence in school bus transportation. Providing a safer and technologically enhanced environment is a crucial step for these operations to return to normalcy. According to a panel of infectious disease experts at the University of California, San Francisco, up to 70 percent of the U.S. population could contract COVID-19 in the next 12 to 18 months. Taking every step to mitigate the risk of transmission as millions of students return to school is paramount.

“School bus drivers are tasked with being guardians of their pupil passengers to and from school. Providing safe transportation in the current COVID-19 world will require a fundamental change in the way drivers and officials comply with safety guidelines,” said H. Kevin Mest, senior vice president and general manager of passenger services at Zonar. “There is no one way to deal with the devastating effects of the pandemic on school transportation. Creating an environment that protects everyone will require discipline and access to customizable technologies like those Zonar developed to address a fleet’s changing requirements.”

Apart from sanitization measures, maintaining strict adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing policies will be important. Zonar’s COVID-19 Return to School Safety Solutions help schools meet the unique and varying needs of their student population as they return to classes as well as create meaningful changes, empowering families, drivers and teachers to feel safe and successful in the upcoming school year. The COVID-19 Return to School Safety Solutions combines Zonar’s expert support with pupil transportation offerings that utilize existing infrastructure, help reduce physical touchpoints, ensure sanitization of buses, aid in contact tracing – all while giving parents greater peace of mind.

The Zonar COVID-19 Return to School Safety Solutions includes tools that help:

  • Design your new normal with expert resources:
    Zonar’s Safety & Compliance team comprised of industry veterans can help schools stay up-to-date with regulatory and national/state/local guidance, safety standards, regularly updated resources from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), free webinars and 1:1 advice for schools around compliance and regulations through an easy-to-use form. This is in addition to Zonar’s 24/7/365 customer success team, which is at the ready to handle any customer or product specific inquiries.
  • Find ways to fund your COVID-19 school transportation initiatives:
    Budgets are limited. If you’re facing a shortfall for fleet management technology, ask our professionals about grant opportunities such as our Don Carnahan Memorial Grant and our partnership with Learn Design Apply, Inc. We can connect you with grant writing experts who offer professional assistance from research to project implementation.
  • Standardize and electronically verify cleaning protocols:
    To help ensure buses are properly sanitized, Zonar’s patented Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR) solution has a new electronically verifiable configuration that helps school officials ensure the cleanliness and sanitization of buses according to CDC guidelines.
  • Support contact tracing with digital rider visibility:
    Zonar provides Z Pass a contactless, card-based rider verification solution allowing schools to know who rode which bus and when so that—if a rider tests positive for COVID-19—you can quickly notify the driver and parents regarding the potential exposure.
  • Verify right student, right bus, right stop:
    With many schools going to a staggered schedule, Zonar Verify prevents students from getting on the wrong bus or off at the wrong stop. With assistance from the contactless, card-based Z Pass students scan entry and exit from the bus, Verify automatically confirms from the daily routing information that it’s the right student, right bus and right stop.
  • Keep parents and caregivers informed about their child’s bus location:
    Zonar MyView put parents and caregivers peace of mind right into the palm of their hand. Parents use the mobile app to locate their child’s bus, customize alerts and share and manage access with authorized caregivers. Plus, districts can utilize the back-end portal to communicate bus changes or COVID-related updates to the parent’s phone.
  • Update Cummins engines – no mechanic, no cost, no contact:
    A trip to the shop for an engine update can take days and require an in-person hand-off. With Zonar OTAir, fleet managers and maintenance workers can update their buses engine control units remotely and safely through their phone in as little as five minutes. Less downtime, less exposure. One less thing to worry about as you modify bus routes and schedules.

For more information about the Zonar COVID-19 Return to School Safety Solutions, find the resource page here: https://www.zonarsystems.com/packages/covid-19-student-transportation-solution/

About Zonar
Founded in 2001, Zonar has pioneered smart fleet management solutions throughout vocational, pupil, mass transit and commercial trucking industries. Zonar’s 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’s smart fleet 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, a regional office in Cincinnati, and a distribution center outside of Atlanta. For more information about Zonar, go to www.zonarsystems.com

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