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Press Release

Howard County Public School System Partners with Zum to Modernize Student Transportation

Maryland District of 57,000+ Students Joins National Movement to Provide Safe, Green and Tech-Enabled School Transportation

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.June 6, 2023 — Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) has awarded a five-year transportation contract operating 250 buses to Zum, the leader in modern student transportation. The decision signals the Maryland school district’s commitment to a cleaner, safer and more equitable solution for the students and families of Howard County.



Zum is a company founded and led by a first-generation immigrant woman, Ritu Narayan, who as a mother of two school children, started this movement to challenge the status quo in the school transportation industry. Zum’s mission is to build a modern-day, safe and reliable transportation solution that puts students, families and drivers first. The demand for modern student transportation is nationwide. In fact, HCPSS joins the growing number of innovative school districts that have partnered with Zum for school transportation, including Los Angeles Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Seattle Public Schools, Oakland Unified School District and Metro Nashville Public Schools.


Howard County Public Schools is consistently recognized as a school system that prioritizes a safe, nurturing and inclusive environment for all students, and we are thrilled the district is partnering with Zum for its student transportation services,” said Ritu Narayan, Founder and CEO at Zum. “With this decision, Howard County joins a massive movement of schools that share our commitment to a future where student transportation advances equity, accessibility and environmental stewardship.”

What the HCPSS community can expect from Zum in the coming school year:

  • Cleaner and greener school bus rides: Transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Zum is the first and only 100% carbon neutral student transportation company in the U.S, with HCPSS families’ school bus rides carbon neutral on day one. Additionally, Zum is committed to working with HCPSS, county and state officials and key stakeholders to develop a plan to transition the entire school bus fleet to electric in the next five years. Through its Net Zero Initiative, the company is leading in electric school bus conversion.

  • High-quality, safe and reliable experience: Zum will bring to the HCPSS community 250 brand new school buses and the most advanced technology solution geared toward student safety and an enhanced family experience. Through the Zum app, HCPSS parents will be able to view the complete profile of their child’s driver, along with real-time tracking and notifications about their school bus location and their child’s pickup or dropoff status. District administrators and operators will be able to track school buses on a live map from start to finish, and routes will be adjusted in real time to account for absent students or traffic issues. Zum will also provide real-time data and performance reports to the HCPSS staff to enable transparency and data-driven, timely decisions when it comes to each student’s transportation.

  • Well-trained school bus drivers and staff: School bus drivers are at the center of Zum’s student transportation serviceZum is a “Great Places to Work” certified company and takes pride in becoming a “choice employer” in any city where it has partnerships. In Howard County, Zum will be hiring 250+ school drivers and staff. Zum is building state-of-the-art facilities on an eight-acre campus in Howard County, bringing in brand new, quality buses and equipment and is offering higher wages and medical/401K benefits, among other perks, to the drivers. In addition, Zum supports its drivers and staff with advanced training and certification programs to ensure they not only meet and exceed all state and federal requirements but are also well-equipped and extensively trained in customer service and transporting students with diverse needs and disabilities.

“Our approach to student transportation is not just incremental but transformative, and that starts with people,” said Liz Sanchez, Executive Vice President of School Bus Operations at Zum. “We take pride in hiring the best team and invest heavily in training them, equipping them and providing a culture that puts drivers first. We are committed to providing a great workplace and environment for our school bus drivers and staff so that we can best serve the students and families of HCPSS.”

Zum continues to hold local driver hiring events for certified school bus drivers and new candidates, with two upcoming events on Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8 at Courtyard Marriott BWI from 7:00am to 5:00pm. All interested drivers and candidates are encouraged to apply or can find upcoming events on Zum’s website here.

About Zum

Zum is modernizing student transportation by partnering with school districts to provide safe, sustainable, efficient and equitable service. Zum’s cloud-based technology optimizes school bus routes, reduces student commute times, and tracks children’s arrival and departure from school while connecting parents, drivers, schools and administrators in real time. Zum is the first and only 100% carbon neutral student transportation company, helping schools optimize their school bus fleets by providing electric solutions that reduce diesel emissions and save costs. Zum has been recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Fastest Growing Companies of 2023, named on CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list, and selected by Fast Company as a World Changing Idea. Learn more at www.ridezum.com.


Link to press release on PR Newswire.