YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A school district here debuted a tool to help keep track of student transportation last week.

Youngstown City School District launched fleet management technology supplier Zonar’s Z Pass, a system that tracks when each student enters and exits a school bus, on Wednesday, WKBN reports.
 
To use Z Pass, each student receives a key card to wear in a lanyard around his or her neck. Every time they get on or off the school bus, they scan the card across a Z Pass card reader. That records the time, date, and location of the student's entrance and exit.

“This is another layer of safety and security for our students,” said Colleen Murphy-Penk, the district’s chief of transportation. “We — as well as parents — will be able to see when and where a student boards or gets off of the school bus.”

In cases of emergency, the system will enable the transportation department to locate passengers quickly. The system also will enable the department to analyze ridership data, Murphy-Penk added.

The Z Pass is the latest technological advancement to be deployed this year in the transportation department to help parents, according to a news release from the district.

“We already have the My Stop app,” said Krish Mohip, the CEO for Youngstown City School District. “That allows parents to pinpoint a time when the bus will pick up or drop off their children. It cuts down on the amount of time children are outside in the cold because their parents can keep them inside where it’s warm and dry right up until the bus arrives. Z Pass goes even further in providing information to families.”

Harding Elementary School was the first school in the district to try out the system, handing out the cards to 350 students, according to WKBN. All of Youngstown City Schools should have access to the system in about a week.

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