‘The Future of Student Transportation’ in the Pacific Northwest and Beyond Begins Today.

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An expert panel hosted by Zum identifies a bold new vision for the future.

SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On March 31st, 2022, a panel of Seattle-area leaders joined a virtual town hall about ‘The Future of Student Transportation. Hosted by Zum and moderated by King County Council member Girmay Zahilay, the following panelists were featured:

On March 31st, 2022, a panel of Seattle-area leaders joined a virtual town hall about ‘The Future of Student Transportation hosted by Zum and moderated by King County Council member Girmay Zahilay.

  • Jessyn Farrell, City of Seattle, Director of Environment and Sustainability
  • Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent of Edmonds School District
  • Kim Raney, Executive Director of Transportation & Logistics, Oakland Unified School District
  • Ritu Narayan, Chief Executive Officer, Zum Student Transportation

“Student transportation represents the nation’s largest mass transit system,” said Zum CEO, Ritu Narayan. “But it’s broken in very different ways across the country, so we rarely get to explore what systemic reform should look like at scale. That is what today’s conversation is about.” 

Leaders from today’s town hall were clear about the problems facing school districts, families and kids – but also optimistic that solutions are within reach. 

The panelists discussed various challenges in the current student transportation system – lack of flexibility for schools, driver shortages, the impact of outdated diesel buses on the environment and on children’s health, how long commute times and unreliable transportation solutions affect low-income students and students with special needs most severely, thus exacerbating inequity. Panel members also identified the desire for more flexibility, innovation, and technology to improve transparency, visibility, and efficiency. They also painted a vision of the future, one where flexible, dignified, equitable, and sustainable transportation becomes a reality for the students.

“My 10-year vision is every child has a safe, healthy, climate-friendly, equitable way to get to school,” said Jessyn Farrell, City of Seattle, Director of Environment and Sustainability

“Coming from FedEx to OUSD, I was surprised when I saw you could track your packages but there was no visibility of where students were to us in administration or to parents. The new technology we have been using for end-to-end tracking from our current vendor has been transformational to our lives” said Kim Raney, Executive Director of Transportation & Logistics, Oakland Unified School District.

“We all know the value of effective transportation solutions when we need to access doctors, food, jobs, and of course to youth in our schools,” said King County Councilmember, Girmay Zahilay. “We should all express our gratitude to the people and systems that get us where we need to go.”

“For me equity is very simple. Do people think they belong,” said Gustavo Balderas, Superintendent of Edmonds School District. All the panelists emphasized the need to listen to the community and their issues in designing future solutions. They also emphasized the need for collaboration across public and private sectors to bring sustainability to this very important sector of transportation.

“We stand committed to serving the families of the Pacific Northwest, providing safe, reliable, and sustainable student transportation solutions, ” Narayan added. “Seattle has always been on the cutting edge of climate action and innovation. The future of student transportation in Washington State is bright from where we stand.”

About Zum

Zum has reimagined student transportation, the nation’s largest mass transit system. Our integrated end-to-end cloud-based platform provides a modern service for school districts purpose-built around the needs of kids and the expectations of their 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. Our multi-sized vehicle approach includes an electric vehicle-first commitment, reduces student commute times by up to 20%, and coupled with our marketplace, delivers added fleet efficiency and optimization. We have been driving the industry forward since 2015, and with more than 8 million miles completed to date, we are leading a new era of safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable transportation. Learn more at www.ridezum.com.

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Website:         www.ridezum.com

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