Starting this fall, all school buses in Panama City's Bay District Schools will be equipped with Zonar Pass readers. The readers will be used in conjunction with student ID cards to log bus ridership and ensure students arrive to their destinations safely.
As reported by local NBC affiliate WJHG, the Z Pass student identification system has already been deployed at select local schools, but will see district-wide use this coming school year.
Students will board buses with their student ID card either around their neck or on their backpack and scan it at the card reader. The card reader will then give audible feedback and light up green to indicate that the students' location and time of check-in have been successfully logged.
The ID system will enable the district to retroactively pull student ridership data to inform concerned parents when and where students boarded and exited buses. The goal is for the Z Pass to be a tool in emergency situations, but it will also serve as a students' daily credential for other uses, including food service and media services.
Replacement costs for lost or destroyed cards will be free for the first replacement, but will carry a $3 charge for any subsequent card replacements.