Penny Fleming, assistant director of transportation of the Transportation Joint Agreement operating at Crystal Lake (Ill.) School Districts 47 and 155, said that Zonar’s solutions will help the operation reduce the cost of fuel.
Zonar and the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) have awarded the Transportation Joint Agreement (TJA) operating at Crystal Lake (Ill.) School Districts 47 and 155 a $50,000 hardware grant.
Zonar and NAPT sponsor grants that provide school districts with the opportunity to equip their buses with Zonar fleet management hardware.
The $50,000 grant will outfit school buses with a combination of Zonar’s Electronic Vehicle Inspection Report (EVIR), V3 telematics platform and ZPass.
“One of the goals of TJA is to decrease the cost of fuel,” said Penny Fleming, assistant director of transportation. “We plan to accomplish this by monitoring idle times and finding ways to make routes more efficient with Zonar’s solutions."
Fleming went on to say that Zonar's solutions will enable the operation to track driver speed, heavy braking, fast take-offs and route deviations.
"Currently when a complaint is received about a driver, management will follow up with a consultation, observation of the driver by following the bus, the use of a radar gun, and a number of other time consuming investigative measures. With Zonar, TJA management can take immediate action rather than waiting for an event that potentially could have adverse effects,” she explained.
In addition to GPS-based solutions, TJA will utilize Zonar’s ZPass to track students as they enter and exit each bus.
“Having ZPass will ensure that only registered riders board the bus,” Fleming said. “The ease in answering concerned parents as to the whereabouts of their children with just the click of a button is truly comforting.”
Officials said that while ZPass increases the safety of bus-riding students, EVIR will increase the safety of the bus itself. EVIR replaces the paper-based pre- and post-trip vehicle inspection process with an electronic-based process using RFID tags and portable hand-held devices.
“The old method relies solely on the thoroughness of the driver and leaves room for error and neglect,” Fleming said. “Zonar’s EVIR system will permit drivers and the mechanical staff to better perform their duties in a proactive rather than reactive manner. Management can simply log in to the program to conduct pre-trip spot checks, rather than investing the time to put notes on parts of the vehicle to ensure that proper pre-trips are being performed or watching drivers from a distance.”
“We are very proud to once again work with NAPT in sponsoring this grant and to provide TJA with the tools and information they need to save real dollars and ensure the health and safety of their buses,” said Chris Oliver, Zonar’s vice president of sales and marketing.
TJA was presented with the award at the 2012 Annual NAPT Summit last week.