Don Carnahan Memorial Grant

Up to $50,000 of fleet technology available.

The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) and Zonar jointly sponsor the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant opportunity to support and promote safety, effectiveness and efficiency in pupil transportation programs in the United States and Canada. This grant provides up to $50,000 worth of best practice fleet management hardware technology.

The Don Carnahan Memorial Grant opportunity is available to any school system that provides pupil transportation services. This opportunity will enable school transportation systems in the U.S. and Canada to use our industry leading, proprietary smart fleet technology to more effectively manage their school bus operations.

About the sponsors

The NAPT and Zonar are committed to supporting safety initiatives in student transportation. Each sponsor recognizes the challenges school systems face in obtaining the financial resources necessary to acquire and implement leading technology—despite the payback opportunity in reducing costs and improving student safety.

What’s included

The Don Carnahan Memorial Grant enables school systems to acquire the modern fleet technology necessary to implement the inspection and sanitization protocols that are quickly becoming best practice across pupil transportation.

Why this grant makes a difference

This up to $50,000 capital acquisition grant equips school buses with the hardware components necessary to enhance safety and efficiency using our smart fleet management ecosystem.

  • Digitally verified inspection reporting that streamlines the process by more than 50% over paper inspections
  • Safer student riders through greater ridership visibility and child-check inspections
  • More efficient fuel usage, bus routing, vehicle maintenance and repair, and driver performance
  • Easier anytime, anywhere fleet management through a secure web portal

Eligibility

To be considered, your school system must be a current NAPT member at the time the application is submitted, or submit the NAPT membership application at the same time. School systems currently using another company’s technology that want to upgrade to Zonar technology are also encouraged to apply. Applications will be considered that include matching funds to expand the program beyond the limit of the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant.

Applicants must document the ability to pay for the ongoing monthly service fee that includes all costs for:

  • the cellular transmission of the real-time data
  • hosting of all inspection and GPS data
  • unlimited access to Ground Traffic Control
  • 24/7/365 telephone and online support

The monthly service fee for GPS and EVIR is estimated to be $30.00 per month per vehicle.

Not an NAPT member?

If you’re not an NAPT member, visit www.napt.org to learn about additional membership benefits available to your school system in addition to being able to participate in the Grant program.

Submitting your application

Download the application using the link below. Your application must provide a complete description of the school system’s operations covered by the grant award. Include your NAPT membership number. Once your application is completed, email your application for the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant to Zonar Senior Vice President of Passenger Services, Kevin Mest at: kevin.mest@zonarsystems.com.

Download Grant Application >

Applications will not be returned and will become the property of NAPT and Zonar. Recipients also agree that their names and the grant award may be used as part of any NAPT or Zonar media release.

What to include in your application

No specific format is required for your application, nor is there any template. This open-ended method provides you a more free-flowing dialogue about your school transportation operations and objectives. However, some information is required, and some additional information is suggested for inclusion. Discuss and include topics and supporting documents that you consider important.

Required

  • Name of school system or school district
  • State or Province
  • Principal place of business
  • Contact name email addresses and phone numbers
  • Number of buses
  • Number of routes
  • Annual school bus miles
  • Number of students transported
  • Annual transportation operation expenditures

Recommended

About your fleet

  • Number of Type A, Type B, Type C and Type D buses
  • Number of district-owned buses
  • Number of contractor-owned or provided buses (if any)
  • Five years: expenses, miles, accidents, preventable accidents, number of transported students
  • Five years: number of special needs students transported for IEP services
  • Bus fleet average age
  • Percent of buses over 15 years of age

Additional information

  • Current inspection records management process
  • Current child check system
  • Current automated routing system, if any
  • How you intend to use the grant
  • How the Zonar technology will help you achieve and enhance your goals
  • District policy requirements or changes to current policy, if any, necessary to implement power of this technology
  • Financial authorization and budget timing sequencing necessary to support the school system or school district grantee annual fees, which are estimated at between $15 And $30 per bus per month, depending on hardware and services selected and initial equipment installment expenses estimated at $125.00 per unit if the installation is not being done by school staff

Required signatures

  • Transportation director
  • Chief financial officer, business manager or purchasing officer
  • School superintendent

How selection works

The NAPT will determine the valid NAPT membership status for you to qualify as a recipient. Consistent with the goals of the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant in enabling applicants to have access to technology, applicants who’ll use the grant for more than basic GPS tracking (i.e. will also add bus inspection, EVIR and/or student ridership visibility) will be given award preference.

Selection is final, and there are no provisions for protesting the selection.

Awarding the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant

Recipients will be awarded grants on a rolling basis throughout the calendar year. Recipients will not need to wait until the annual NAPT Summit to receive the hardware before installing and implementing the system. All recipients that have been awarded a Don Carnahan Memorial Grant throughout the year will be recognized at the Summit.

If you have any questions about the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant, its process, application or requirements, reach out to our Senior Vice President of Passenger Services, Kevin Mest at: kevin.mest@zonarsystems.com

In honor of Don Carnahan

Don Carnahan was an icon in the state of Washington. A native son, he attended school in the Renton School District, where he returned to teach after graduating from the University of Washington (UW). Don played football at UW from 1958 to 1962, and is in the Husky Hall of Fame with the 1961 Rose Bowl team.

After teaching at Renton High School, Don went to work in Olympia for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). He became the director of Pupil Transportation and worked with colleagues across the nation for safer student transportation. Don was instrumental in founding and running national and state organizations for Pupil Transportation. He was a two-time President of the NAPT, and was actively involved with and held leadership roles with NSTA, NASDPTS and WAPT among many more.

After “retiring” from OSPI, Don went to work for Laidlaw, where he worked for the NW Region team lead by then senior vice president and future Zonarian, Kevin Mest. In 2003 Don joined Zonar as Vice President of Business Development for Pupil Transportation, and was instrumental in using his nationwide recognition to bring credibility to our solutions in the pupil industry.

In 2014, while still with Zonar, Don passed away at the age of 75. We honor his contributions to our company and the industry in naming this grant the Don Carnahan Memorial Grant.

"I am privileged to have joined Zonar in May 2015 to carry on the legacy Don left behind. I'd known Don since 1985 when he was the Washington State Director. He was a valued industry associate, a trusted colleague and above all else, a friend." – Kevin Mest, Zonar Senior Vice President of Passenger Services

Freeport School District 145 received the first grant from Zonar Systems to outfit its bus fleet with Global Positioning Systems, electronic inspection equipment and Z Pass™ Student Rider Visibility.
"Z Pass has provided us with a level of security and confidence I didn’t know was possible. With Zonar as our partner we are able to ensure that our students are safe and accounted for while also utilizing the technology to decrease our overall cost by accurately and seamlessly submitting and receiving Medicaid reimbursement funds for the transportation of our special needs children."
Dallas Rackow, District 145 Director of Transportation
"Now with this system, we can go on the computer immediately and know exactly what kids are on that bus, what kids have already exited that bus, and we can start notifying parents."
Jeff Ferrato, director of facilities, operations, maintenance and transportation
"With a new GPS-based tracking system I can go in, locate the buses and say ‘They will be there in five minutes."
Carlos Melendez, transportation supervisor