Tech companies Zonar and Transfinder Corp. are teaming up to provide Cabell County Public Schools in West Virginia with a one-two punch when it comes to keeping track of buses and students.
School transportation officials use Transfinder's Busfinder, the GPS enhancement designed for the Routefinder Pro transportation management solution, to determine where a student's bus should be. Yet Transfinder officials explained that the Busfinder interfaces with GPS systems such as Zonar's to display where the bus actually is.
"The two work well together," said Joe Meadows, treasurer of Cabell County Public Schools, noting theirs was the first district in West Virginia to go with Zonar. "They complement each other. Zonar verifies what is actually being done. It just keeps everybody honest."
Meadows noted that parents can log into Transfinder's Infofinder to view planned bus routes and stop information.
"Parents log onto Infofinder and see where the bus is supposed to be," Meadows said. "It's embarrassing to us when what we told them does not have any relationship to whatever happened. It's very important that what we say we're doing and what we're doing correlates together in the event of an emergency. We should be able to look at the bus schedule and see where the bus should be at any point in time. Zonar answers questions."
Meadows also said the Zonar-Transfinder solution is useful for telling parents why a bus is running late and where the bus is. He added that Transfinder's software used in conjunction with Zonar's GPS technology improved the overall safety and efficiency of bus trips.
"When we put GPS on the bus, we found that our driving got safer," he said. Schedules also were adjusted and buses reassigned in response to reports of bus runs showing lengthy periods of idling at a single location.
Transfinder and Zonar officials said the companies' complementary services have served their respective clients well over the years.
"Zonar has been a great partner to work with in providing school districts critical GPS information needed to run their fleets efficiently," said Transfinder President and CEO Antonio Civitella. "Our software allows school districts to plan routes and compare those routes with Zonar's technology that tracks what's actually happening on the road."
"The seamless integration between Zonar and Transfinder provides customers an end-to-end solution that layers bus GPS locations, speeds, idle times and more into Transfinder's Routefinder Pro software," said Andrew Johnson, Zonar's vice president of marketing and sales support. "Zonar and Transfinder enjoy a longtime relationship that provides extended value to many school districts leveraging the combined power of these two market leaders."
Meadows agreed, saying, "I don't know how people survive without it – GPS and Routefinder. I don't know how you manage your transportation department without the GPS data along with the routing program."