Cook-Illinois Corp. plans to expand its use of Zonar Systems’ telematics platform on 1,300 additional buses by the end of this year.

The school bus contractor currently uses the platform on 900 buses.  

“Zonar is an essential part of running our fleet safely and efficiently,” said John Benish, COO of Cook-Illinois Corp. “When we first installed Zonar, we began saving fuel almost immediately by eliminating out-of-route miles and idling. We also closely monitored bus activity to improve driver performance.”

Benish went on to say that the technology is a complement to the company’s other green initiatives, including use of biodiesel fuel and hybrid technology, so the decision to expand the Zonar telematics system to the entire fleet was “really a no-brainer.”

Cook-Illinois was established in 1958 and provides service for customers in the Chicago area. The company partnered with Go-Ahead North America to provide service to other areas of the country.

Officials said Cook-Illinois prides itself on its environmentally friendly practices. In addition to running its fleet on biodiesel, the company established the Clean Air Club to help kids learn more about the environment. Cook-Illinois is currently introducing hybrid buses into the fleet.

“We are excited to help Cook-Illinois reach its environmental goals while increasing student safety and overall efficiency,” said Chris Oliver, Zonar’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We look forward to providing continued service, support and product features to help Cook-Illinois continue its operational improvements.”

Cook-Illinois uses the Zonar telematics platform to track vehicle mileage, speed, idling, stops and more. Some routes also utilize additional patented solutions from Zonar, including the electronic vehicle inspection system, EVIR, and ZPass for tracking students.