Washington School District of Nearly 30,000 Students Joins Growing National Movement to Reimagine School Transportation
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Spokane Public Schools (SPS) has awarded a five-year transportation contract, valued at up to $71 million, to Zūm, the leader in modern student transportation. The decision signals the Washington school district’s commitment to a cleaner, safer and more equitable transportation solution.
Spokane Public Schools serves roughly 30,000 students across more than 50 school campuses. Starting in August 2023, Zum will expand its transportation services for Spokane Public Schools to provide safe, modern, reliable and efficient student transportation, to include a brand new fleet of school buses and a technology platform designed to manage, monitor and optimize transportation while providing superior safety, communication and customer service for students, families and schools. The company’s industry-leading technology and reliability were first leveraged by Spokane Public Schools when Zum began serving the district’s special education students, McKinney Vento and HEART program, last fall. The district’s decision to deepen the partnership with Zum reflects continued dedication to creating the best educational experience for children and families.
Spokane ranks among a rapidly growing number of innovative school districts across the U.S. that have partnered with Zum, including Seattle Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District and San Bernardino City Unified School District.
Benefits of Zum include:
- Cleaner and greener: Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. As the first and only 100% carbon neutral student transportation company in the U.S., Zum is committed to transitioning school bus fleets to electric vehicles. In fact, through its Net Zero Initiative, the company has already offset 100% of its fleet’s carbon emissions.
- Safer and more reliable: Zum’s technology is built to keep students safe from the moment they get on the bus until they are back home. Through the Zum app, parents are able to view the complete profile of their child’s driver, along with real-time information about vehicle location and their child’s pickup or drop off time and status. District administrators and operators are able to track rides in a map view from start to finish, and routes are adjusted in real time to account for absent students or traffic issues.
Through Zum’s proprietary safety technology, driver training and certification program, SafeGuard, all drivers not only meet and exceed all state and federal requirements but also are trained on and required to adhere to specific protocols while picking up or dropping off students and while driving. The Zum platform also ensures timely, secure and centralized reporting to keep everyone appropriately informed.
- More equitable: Modernizing transportation across the district can address inequalities the current system exacerbates. Students with longer average times on buses report lower grades, fewer social activities and poorer study habits. Because low-income families, children of color and children with special needs are more likely to depend on school buses, they’re disproportionately affected. By selecting Zum, districts are demonstrating their commitment to modernizing student transportation to ensure equity and access for all students.
“Zum is leading a revolution in the nation’s largest mass transit system, and we are privileged to grow our partnership with Spokane Public Schools for student transportation services,” said Ritu Narayan, founder and CEO at Zum. “We are committed to creating a future where student transportation is more equitable, sustainable and reliable, and we’re proud to work with the families and administrators in Spokane to support this mission.”
“Zum is at the forefront of offering a more modern, equitable transportation model to school districts and families,” said Corey Arkle, Transportation Supervisor, Spokane Public Schools. “Partnering with Zum allows us to provide a higher level of service with technology that enables parents and district officials to track buses more easily, a new fleet of vehicles, and the latest in safety and reliability.”
Zum offers its drivers competitive pay, flexibility and strong training programs, resulting in excellent job satisfaction overall. Zum’s culture, driver satisfaction and benefits have already helped their partner districts overcome obstacles in the face of a nationwide driver shortage.
A National Movement
School districts and families across the U.S. are already starting to see the benefits of working with Zum: San Francisco Unified School District is on track to save $15 million over the next five years. In Oakland, the number of students spending more than one hour on a bus has dropped from 70 percent to less than 10 percent.
Zum is available nationwide, serving thousands of schools across the U.S., including the nation’s second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District. For more information, visit: www.ridezum.com.
Zum has reimagined student transportation, the nation’s largest mass transit system. Our state of the art operations and integrated end-to-end cloud-based platform provides a modern student transportation service for school districts purpose-built around the needs of kids and the expectations of their families. Zūm provides one seamless, real-time interface for parents, drivers, schools, districts, administrators and operators to transport children safely and with increased visibility and personalized care. Always investing in the wellbeing of the communities, Zum is also the only carbon neutral student transportation provider in the nation with plans to go Net Zero with EV transition. Learn more at www.ridezum.com.