Zonar Announces Winners of $50K Technology Grants

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John Hennessey, director of transportation at Worcester Public Schools in Worcester, Massachusetts, receives one of the 11 Zonar grant awards.

Zonar Systems awarded 11 school districts with up to $50,000 each in fleet management technology tools with the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant presented last week in partnership with the National Association for Pupil Transportation.

The grants were announced on Nov. 9 during the NAPT Summit in Richmond, Virginia. The school districts are receiving Zonar’s Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR) found on either the Zonar 2010 or 2020 tablet, along with GPS V3, Real Time Engine Diagnostic Reporting, Z Pass student tracking and Ground Traffic Control (GTC) web-based software.

zonar grant winnersAll told, the districts operate nearly 1,000 school buses. Zonar added that one out of every three school buses nationwide utilize some form of its GPS or RFID technology.

“We are thrilled to provide this year’s grant winners with technology solutions to help increase safety of their vehicles and real-time information about the transportation of their students to and from school,” said H. Kevin Mest, senior vice president of business development at Zonar. “I look forward to working with them and sharing in the success stories of this year’s winners.”

Zonar renamed the award after Carnahan, the company’s previous vice president of business development, who passed away suddenly last year. Formerly known as the Zonar/NAPT Grant, Zonar explained that it wanted to recognize Carnahan’s “lifelong contributions to the student transportation industry,” and a career that spanned 45 years.

Carnahan was serving his second term as president of NAPT when he passed away in September 2014 from a massive heart attack. An NAPT Hall of Fame member, he was also a past president of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services during his time at the Washington state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Zonar explained that school districts must be current NAPT members to apply for the grant.

“NAPT applauds Zonar for its many contributions to the school bus industry, and for this generous grant. Every school district is facing tight budgets. The grant winners will be able to implement efficiencies and reduce maintenance costs with Zonar’s powerful technology,” said Mike Martin, executive director of NAPT. “The winning districts will also be to track the location of their students as they travel to and from school. You can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that Zonar technology provides for these communities.”