REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. — Zum has expanded its rideshare service for kids to eight more cities.
The app-based platform provides customized transportation services, taking children to and from school, field trips, and other activities, while also streamlining route planning and providing real-time tracking of rides, according to a news release from the company.
With the expansion, Zum will service over 250 school districts and 4,000 schools in Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; Miami; Phoenix; Dallas; Chicago; Seattle; and Washington, D.C., including the areas it already services in California: Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“When seeking an alternative transportation option for our district, our number-one focus was to find a better experience for our students — shorter commutes and real-time insight into the student’s location,” said Grace Garner, the chief business officer for Garvey School District, one of the districts that Zum has partnered with. “We transport more than 90 special-education students a day, and the majority of them went from being on the bus more than 45 minutes to under 15 minutes with the added bonus of just their Garvey peers on board.”
Garner also said that the district has saved over a half a million dollars in its first year using Zum.
Ritu Narayan, the co-founder and CEO of Zum, added that “Just as a school would never utilize just 20% of its classrooms, administrators are recognizing that the bus is not always the best solution to get children where they need to go. Zum offers schools efficient vehicle options that match specific needs. This positively impacts the bottom line, gives real-time visibility into rider location, and cuts time a child spends commuting, signaling to families that school administrators have their child’s best interest in mind.”
All Zum rides are provided by drivers that have at least three years or more of childcare experience, according to the company. Drivers are also required to undergo extensive background checks and SafeSchool training courses through its partnership with Vector Solutions, according to Zum.
In addition, Zum has announced a partnership with KidsAndCars.org, a child safety organization for non-traffic related car safety initiatives, to advise the company and further bolster its procedural and safety protocols.