Our Climate Journey with Jackie Scott
“To me, sustainability is doing things the right way, so [my granddaughters] will have a nice place to play and live.”
Howard County Bus Driver, Zum
Jackie Scott has been a bus driver in Howard County, Maryland for ten years. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, she’s made Howard County her home, and joined Zum because she believes in revolutionizing student transportation. We’re lucky to have her on our team!
3 Questions with Jackie Scott
At Zum, we’re revolutionizing student transportation in order to build a green, sustainable future. What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability hits close to home for me. In the last few years, I’ve seen air quality in Howard County get worse and worse. On our buses, we have kids with pre-existing medical conditions who need clean air to breathe. Even more personally, I have grandchildren. I want my granddaughters to be able to play outside without worrying about it. To me, sustainability is doing things the right way, so they’ll have a nice place to play and live.
Climate change is the single greatest threat to our way of life, but it can sometimes feel abstract, far away, a problem for another time. How has climate change affected you personally?
It’s hotter than ever in Howard County. Some days, it’s so hot that they cancel football practices, cancel outdoor activities, cancel the things our students normally do. For us bus drivers, it’s bad too. I’m a certified trainer, which means I spend a lot of time outdoors, on the hot asphalt, teaching and training other drivers. It gets so hot out there that you just lose all your energy—the sun baking on the asphalt just saps everything out of you. Climate change makes everyday living just a little bit harder.
What can Zum do to be a leader in sustainability, to spearhead the charge in the fight against climate change?
I think Zum’s already doing it. They’re using technology to make our bus routes more efficient, which I definitely appreciate. I get to drive a brand new bus, which runs much cleaner than some of the old buses I’ve driven on. And we don’t have them now, but I know that in the next couple of years, electric buses are coming. And when that happens, it’s going to be so much better for the students, and for the drivers.
So I hope Zum continues to do what they do, and that they can bring their leadership across the country, because it’s made a huge difference in Howard County.