Saturday, May 27, 2023
HomeIndustry ReleasesAlameda Unified School District Partners with Zūm to Provide Safe, Efficient and...

Alameda Unified School District Partners with Zūm to Provide Safe, Efficient and Sustainable, Special Education Transportation

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., – Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) has awarded a transportation contract of up to $8.8 million over five years to Zum, the leader in modern student transportation. Through this partnership, the district will be able to deliver superior service and meet the transportation needs of AUSD students who receive special education services, as well as the families, teachers, administrators and drivers committed to creating the best educational experience for children.

About ten percent of AUSD’s 8500 students receive special education services, and close to 150 receive transportation support. Zum will deliver a multi-sized fleet of vehicles to maximize operational efficiency and deliver safety and transparency for every ride for those students.

Zum is at the forefront of a massive transformation in student transportation, helping thousands of schools nationwide move away from a one-size-fits-all approach. Other innovative school districts that have partnered with Zum include Los Angeles Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Seattle Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District and Metro Nashville Public Schools. This decision underscores AUSD’s commitment to a cleaner, safer and more equitable solution for the students and families of Alameda.

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 emission.

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 dropoff 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. At the same time, drivers are able to preview all students on assigned routes, along with important supplemental information for each student where necessary.

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.
“The Alameda Unified School District shares Zum’s commitment to equitable, accessible and sustainable student transportation services for all,” said Ritu Narayan, founder and CEO at Zum. “We are proud to partner with them to deliver a safe, modern and reliable experience to the Alameda community.”

“We look forward to partnering with Zum to provide safe, reliable, sustainable transportation to our students who receive special education services,” says Shariq Khan, AUSD’s Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. “We believe this new expanded contract will benefit students and families alike.”

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 hundreds of school districts, including the nation’s second largest school district, Los Angeles Unified School District, across the U.S. For more information, visit:

About Zum:
Zum has reimagined student transportation, the nation’s largest mass transit system. Our robust 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

May 2023

In this month's issue, learn more about why the viral school bus video struck a chord with student transporters,...

Buyer’s Guide 2023

Find the latest vehicle production data and budget reports, industry trends, and contact information for state, national and federal...


Should student health outcomes be the leading factor when deciding on new school bus purchases?
85 votes