The MyView app from Zonar, powered by ByteCurve, gives real-time school bus location updates.  -  Source: Zonar/Canva

The MyView app from Zonar, powered by ByteCurve, gives real-time school bus location updates.

Source: Zonar/Canva

Zonar, a company that specializes fleet health and transportation safety through technology, has introduced Zonar MyView to the Canadian market. This app offers real-time location updates and information about school bus routes, addressing pressing challenges faced by transportation directors in Canada and trying to make the ride more secure for students.

Focus on School Transportation Efficiency and Security

MyView prioritizes safety for students on buses and the security and privacy of their information in the app, requiring a secure district-provided access code, a school bus or route number and student's external ID number to access data in the app, which is powered by ByteCurve. For Canadian users, data is securely stored on cloud-based servers within Canada, according to a news release.

"The safety and security of school-aged children is our top priority," said Tim Ammon, vice president and general manager of passenger services at Zonar, in a statement "Zonar MyView serves the four most important transportation constituencies: students, parents, schools, and transportation staff by optimizing the distribution of critical school bus information directly to parents and caregivers, while serving as a district dashboard for all bus changes, delays, or breakdowns."

In an interview with School Bus Fleet in 2023, Ammon discussed the integration of tools and apps into vehicles and school fleet operations, targeting school transportation efficiency, saying: "We have to recognize that most transportation operations want these tools but are often too busy with their primary job of ensuring student safety and service quality to fully take advantage of all the benefits. As a result, those of us who service the industry are going to have to find ways to integrate these tools and technologies into products such that they are available, affordable, and accessible to organizations of all types."

Challenges Faced by School District Operations in Canada

MyView acknowledges the prevalent issue of bus driver shortages in Canada, which disrupt transportation operations. The app provides increased visibility into the locations of school buses and transparent communication with parents, alleviating concerns about delays and ensuring smoother operations.

With its GPS tracking integration, MyView offers timely updates on bus assignments and pickup times, crucial for transportation directors dealing with vast and varied geographical regions. This feature reduces the frequency of dispatch calls from parents, enabling transportation directors to manage resources more efficiently.

MyView prioritizes the security and privacy of student information, an aspect crucial in Canada's stringent privacy regulations. It requires secure access codes and does not access student records or capture personal data, ensuring compliance with privacy laws.

Key Takeaways for School Districts in Canada

  • Safety and Security: MyView prioritizes the safety of students by providing real-time updates on bus locations, addressing concerns about their well-being during transit, which can be especially pertinent in Canada's diverse climate and terrain.
  • Operational Efficiency: The app enhances transportation management by offering timely and accurate information, crucial for navigating Canada's expansive and sometimes challenging transportation routes, minimizing disruptions caused by driver shortages or delays.
  • Compliance with Privacy Regulations: MyView ensures the security and privacy of student information, addressing concerns about data protection and compliance with Canada's stringent privacy regulations, a significant factor in ensuring trust among Canadian stakeholders.
  • Convenience and Ease of Use: The app streamlines communication between transportation directors, parents, and caregivers, facilitating smoother operations amidst Canada's diverse cultural and linguistic landscape.
  • Customization and Flexibility: MyView offers customizable features such as shared access and alerts, catering to the diverse needs of families in Canada's multicultural society and providing flexibility in managing bus information across various provinces and territories.

"MyView is a gamechanger and has helped provide peace of mind," said Jane Breckenridge, a parent user of MyView. "I can set my phone on the windowsill while I'm cleaning up in the morning and watch the bus move or get an alert from the app when it's close. I know when the bus is en route and what zone it is in – it's very seamless. My kids never miss the bus and they're never waiting very long."

About the author
Wes Platt

Wes Platt

Executive Editor

Wes Platt joined Bobit in 2021 as executive editor of School Bus Fleet Magazine. He writes and edits content about student transportation, school bus manufacturers and equipment, legislative issues, maintenance, fleet contracting, and school transportation technology - from classic yellow diesel buses to the latest EPA-funded electric, propane, and CNG vehicles.

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