WATERBURY – All-Star Transportation has won a prestigious $50,000 grant to purchase cutting-edge technology designed to enhance the safety and security of the school buses it operates in Litchfield, New Haven and upper-Fairfield counties.
The 2018 Don Carnahan Memorial Technology Grant is sponsored by The National Association for Pupil Transportation and Zonar Systems Inc., a Seattle-based company that provides smart fleet management solutions. The Zonar technology will make it possible to track buses to monitor fuel usage, speed, idling time and other operational issues. The technology also can provide alerts when buses aren’t operated safely or when they need maintenance.
“Zonar and NAPT have worked together to help student transportation operators improve safety, and drive effective and efficient operations in transporting students to and from school in their communities,” said H. Kevin Mest, Zonar’s senior vice president of passenger services. “This grant helps assist with the financial resources needed to invest in technology. We applaud All-Star Transportation for being a leader in the industry and adopting best-practices solutions.”
A total of 250 Zonar systems will be installed on All-Star buses based at the company’s terminals in New Milford, Newtown, Prospect and Torrington.
“We are focused on ensuring the safety of our students and providing our customers with great value,” said Leslie Sheldon, All-Star Transportation’s operations manager. “We successfully tested Zonar technology on our Waterbury fleet during the 2017-18 school years, and we believe it is the right product to enhance our fleet and improve our services.
“Looking to the future, our plan is to phase in the use of Zonar technology companywide over the next few years,” Sheldon added.
Based in Waterbury, All-Star Transportation employs more than 1,000 and operates 18 school bus terminals servicing the in-district and out-of-district transportation needs of 35 cities and towns. All-Star Transportation safely transports more 47,000 students every day during the school year.
The grant is named in honor of Don Carnahan in recognition of his lifelong contributions to the student transportation industry. Carnahan dedicated 45 years to the education and pupil transportation industry. He joined Zonar in 2003 and served 11 years as a company leader. He also was a two-term NAPT president.