National Express Transit Corporation

Customer Spotlight National Express Transit Corporation

National express transit corporation building smarter cities with smart fleet management technologies

Established in 2012, National Express Transit Corporation (NEXT) is the fastest growing transit contracting company in North America, delivering over 16 million journeys every year through fixed-route, commuter, paratransit, and airport shuttle services.

As NEXT continues to scale up operations, it faces new challenges in its goal to provide safe, reliable public transportation for customers in a growing number of metro regions. Three challenges over the past four years include: Technology integration with existing systems, improved safety levels, and higher visibility into remote inspection verifications.

Through their activities in pupil transportation, NEXT understood how strategically deploying technology in its customer fleets could significantly raise safety and efficiency levels across the fleets.

To address these challenges and opportunities, the NEXT and Zonar teams collaborated on a best-needs set of solutions—including Zonar’s V3™ telematics solution, and 2010™ and 2020® mobile devices with Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR®) the only verified, visual electronic inspection system available for pre- and post- trip inspections. Once identified, the teams worked together to integrate the solutions into the NEXT systems, as well as offer flexible options for the NEXT’s transit agencies to deploy for improved inspection management and operations efficiency. Post-trip inspections, for instance, serve a critical safety function for the transit industry. Similar to school transportation, where bus drivers are responsible for ensuring that no child is left behind on the vehicle, transit drivers are the first and last stop for ensuring that all passengers and all belongings are accounted for when closing out a trip.

Zonar has been a fantastic partner that works hand in hand with us to understand customer needs and provide them with customizable transit solutions.
Judith Crawford, CEO of National Express Transit

When looking for a technology partner to help them meet this mission-critical need for their transit agencies, NEXT connected with Zonar—a smart fleet management innovator whose technologies are installed on one out of every three school buses on the road in the U.S.

The EVIR system used with the 2010 and 2020 devices provides a connected solution that allows operators to capture and transmit their pre- and post- trip inspection records more easily and accurately. Using the EVIR’s “Tag Once, Inspect Regularly, Know Always” method, operators would scan the vehicle’s RFID tags, verifying the completed visual inspection and ensuring that all riders and packages are accounted for.

On-time reliability, communications and real-time visibility into vehicle location are core public transportation services as well as key to providing smooth and safe operations. When any of those are limited, the resulting effect can frustrate passengers and transit operators alike.

For instance, at one transit agency’s metro location, where they did not previously have a GPS tracking system in place, vehicle traffic would often experience an accordion effect – bunching up to the point of congestion and then spreading out until they were too far apart.

Leveraging the real-time fleet visibility and the actionable intelligence of Zonar’s V3 combined with Zonar Ground Traffic Control® and mobile devices in the field, NEXT and the transit agency were able to track the location of their vehicles with pinpoint accuracy. This enabled them to identify potential issues earlier and react in a more timely fashion to redeploy staff as needed, even resolving situations before they become problematic.