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Press Release

Zum Recognized by White House for Student Transportation Modernization and Sustainability Efforts

SAN FRANCISCOMarch 4, 2024 – Today, Heather Boushey, the Chief Economist for the Invest in America Cabinet at the White House, met with executives and staff at Zūm, the leader in modern student transportation.


Today, Heather Boushey, the Chief Economist for the Invest in America Cabinet at the White House, met with executives and staff at Zūm, the leader in modern student transportation.


Left to Right: Heather Boushey, Chief Economist for the Invest in America Cabinet at the White House; Kevin Gong, Staff Director, U.S. EPA Pacific Southwest Region; and Ritu Narayan, Founder and CEO, Zum.


The visit, which took place at Zum’s San Francisco bus yard, included a tour of Zum’s state-of-the-art facilities, a ride on one of Zum’s electric buses, a meeting with leadership, including Zum Founder and CEO Ritu Narayan as well as a robust roundtable discussion on the importance of the acceleration of the transition to electric school buses with Kevin Gong, EPA Pacific Southwest Region; Lisa Grant Dawson, Oakland Unified School District; Kim Raney, Oakland Unified School District; Arcadio Fokin, San Francisco Unified School District; Garth Saloner, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Dan Lashof, World Resource Institute; Sharon Lai, World Economic Forum; Ram Rajagopal, Stanford Sustainable Systems Lab; Tor Larson, Calstart; and Darlene Chiu Bryant, Global SF.


Boushey highlighted the Biden-Harris Administration’s recent announcement of nearly $90 million across California for clean school buses as part of the Investing in America Agenda.

“We were honored to host Heather Boushey to demonstrate how Zum’s proprietary technology is transforming the $50 billion student transportation industry, providing a revolutionary connected platform, increased safety, and a commitment to equity and sustainability,” Narayan said. “We commend the Administration for its historic investments in the electrification of transportation and supporting our vision of a better, healthier future for our children.”

“Since day one of this Administration, President Biden has committed to growing the economy from the middle-out and bottom-up. He passed historic legislation – the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act – all of which make up his Investing in America agenda,” Boushey said. “And it is rebuilding our infrastructure, lowering costs, and creating opportunities for families, workers, and small businesses. The EPA’s Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition will boost our economy, create good-paying jobs, and improve air quality for children and their families.”

In January, the EPA announced that Zum would receive over $26.5 million through the EPA’s first Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition. The grant will help Zum’s school district partners electrify their school bus fleets. Additionally, Zum recently announced a $140 million funding round that will be used to accelerate the expansion of Zum’s AI-driven technology platform, a key tool in the company’s effort to fully decarbonize the school bus industry and provide schools with advanced technology to deploy more sustainable mobility options.

Thousands of schools across the country have partnered with Zum for school transportation, including Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest district in the country; San Francisco Unified School District; Seattle Public Schools; Howard County Public Schools; Oakland Unified School District; and Metro Nashville Public Schools.

In San Francisco, students, schools and families are experiencing the benefits of Zum:

  • 98% of Zum’s buses arrive on time.
  • Bus occupancy and ridership is at an all time high, an average 80%.
  • The amount of time students spend on the bus has been reduced by 25%. This ensures students get more rest in the morning and participate in important after school activities.
  • The school district has saved $3 million per school year – $15 million over the course of a five-year contract. These are resources that can go back into the classroom and after school activities and academic programs.
  • The bus fleet size has been reduced by 20%. This drives down the environmental impact by having fewer diesel buses on the road.
  • Above all, with the recent EPA Clean School Bus Program and State of California grants, Zum is able to expand its electric fleet and infrastructure in San Francisco and Oakland Unified. With over 280 electric chargers installed, and up to 120 electric school buses arriving in the coming school year, Zum is pacing towards its goal of transitioning San Francisco Unified School District and Oakland Unified School Districts to fully electric fleets by the end of the 2026-2027 school year.

“Clean school buses are a win for our students, our community health, and for our planet. In Oakland, we are all in for the green economy, with equity leading the way to better jobs, cleaner air, and climate progress,” Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, “Federal bipartisan infrastructure funding has helped us leverage State and regional funding to build green energy, improve public transportation and maritime and shipping operations, and add jobs. Oakland values its partnership with the Biden Harris administration to keep enhancing our clean and green community.”

“The work Zum has been doing in our community has been invaluable to the health and well-being of Oakland,” said Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “We have partnered with Zum since the beginning because we saw the potential. The quiet, green buses get our students to school ready to learn, and they are improving the air quality of our city dramatically. That is good news for our students, families, staff, and all city residents. Oakland has long dealt with poor air quality because of the proximity to freeways and other sources of pollution. OUSD is thrilled that we can do our part to cut down on dirty air by using Zum buses to transport our students. We look forward to working with state and federal leaders to increase the use of this kind of transportation here and across the country.”

Founded and led by a first-generation immigrant and mother, Ritu Narayan, Zum is reimagining the yellow school bus system.

On top of transitioning to EV fleets, Zum has pioneered vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology that will send stored energy from EV school buses back to the city’s electrical grid. V2G at scale will lower peak energy demands, eliminate the need for costly and pollutive peaker plants and reduce the health risks associated with diesel buses.

To learn more about how Zum is working with thousands of schools across the nation to deliver safe, reliable, zero-emission, and modern student transportation, please visit Zum’s website.

About Zum:
Zum has reimagined student transportation, the nation’s largest mass transit system, and developed sustainable ways to charge the grid. Zum’s 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 modern families. Zum 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 communities, Zum is also the only carbon neutral student transportation provider in the nation with plans to go Net Zero with its transition to EV electric buses. Zum is available nationwide, serving more than 4,000 schools across the U.S. Learn more at www.ridezum.com.


Jenny Mayfield, Vice President of Communications – press@ridezum.com



Link to release on PR Newswire