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T


o many students who ride school buses—and perhaps their parents—BTS refers to a Korean boy band. But for student transportation profes- sionals, the acronym signals a new way of doing


business, especially in a COVID-19 world. The inaugural virtual Bus Technology Summit, or BTS,


presented by School Transportation News from Sept. 21 through 24, was the first industry conference opportunity for most school district personnel, bus contractors, state agency officials, manufacturers, vendors, and consultants since the global pandemic took hold six months prior. Twenty-four sponsoring companies presented expert perspectives on how technology is poised to solve today’s challenges, from the mundane to those resulting from the current health crisis. The CEOs for title sponsor Zonar Sys-


tems as well as for diamond sponsors REI and Transfinder delivered “Tech Talks” that provided roadmaps on how those organizations see technology evolving. Additional Tech Talks were given by technology disruption expert and author Jim Harris and legal expert Matthew Daus, with each sitting in on follow-up discussions about technology adoption and challenges. (Read on for their BTS insights.) The content was supplemented by 16 “Let’s Talk” net-


working chats designed for operations professionals to hear from their peers who are using various technology solutions or are poised to. The event also featured a Virtual Trade Show across all four days. Visit bustechnologysummit.com to watch selected


videos from the event. Find recap articles and photos at stnonline.com/tag/bus-technology-summit. ●


Total unique attendees during the event 1,226


The average event rating provided by attendees


8+


Total number of individual meetings held during event (Source: http://hopin.to)


251 Bus Technology Summit Innovation Awards


Coolest Overall Technology: Tyler Technologies Most Innovative App: Zonar Most Innovative Hardware: REI


Most Innovative Software: Transfinder (As voted on by attendees during the event. Votes cast by employees of sponsors were disallowed.)


20 School Transportation News • NOVEMBER 2020


Number of countries represented (U.S., Canada, India, Ireland, & Philippines)


5


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