New Zonar Phone App Allows Arkansas Parents to Track Children on Buses
A new cellphone app allows parents in the Texarkana Arkansas School District to track their children on buses in real time.
Last week, representatives from Velociti, a Missouri-based tech deployment company, installed the Zonar tracking system on 32 Texarkana buses. The devices tell parents when buses pick up and drop off their children, and also allow school officials to set bus routes and monitor them for fuel efficiency.
“We will know where every child is that’s on our buses,” transportation coordinator Larry Anderson told the Texarkana Gazette. “We will know when we pick them up, when we let them off, where they got off — just keep everybody safe so we know who’s where.”
Students will each be issued a key card, which they can scan when getting on the bus. That enters them into the system, which will also track the bus route via GPS.
The district purchased the system in September at a cost of $28,656.31 for the first year, and $20,549.63 annually for the next three years, according to the Texarkana Gazette. It works in coordination with the Transfinder system, which was put in place last year.
Genia Bullock, the district’s public relations coordinator, said there are three components to the system: Route Finder, Info Finder and Bus Finder. Route Finder allows the school to set the route and monitor the route for efficiency in fuel and time. Info Finder allows parents and administrators to see via a website where students can catch a bus, and what times the bus will be there. Bus Finder connects directly to the Zonar system, and this is the portion parents can see on the app. Parents will be able to see where their student is and track how far they are from a bus stop. Those using the app will only get information for their student.
The system is expected to fully start in January.