REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Zūm, the trusted provider of modern student transportation, today joined U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) at a virtual press conference to discuss efforts to transition the nation's school bus system to electric, addressing one of the largest generators of harmful carbon emissions.
During the press event, Zum and Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) discussed their partnership to transition to a 100% electric and zero-emission school bus fleet by 2025. Senator Alex Padilla, who introduced the Clean Commute for Kids Act to invest in the transition of the nation's school buses from diesel to electric, applauded Zum and OUSD's commitment.
Senator Padilla led efforts to secure funding in the recently approved Senate infrastructure bill, which provides $2.5 billion nationwide specifically for zero-emission school buses and makes them eligible for a further $2.5 billion in grants and reimbursements.
"Partnering with school districts to transition to zero-emission school buses is going to make a tremendous impact, and it is a significant, much-needed down payment on our children's sustainable future," said Senator Padilla during the press conference. "Oakland's 50,000 students, and children nationwide, will breathe easier and learn better with this investment."
"Over 90 percent of the nation's 500,000 school buses are internal combustion diesel buses, which we know emit notoriously noxious exhaust," said Zūm founder and CEO Ritu Narayan at the press conference. "More than 25 million children, and thousands of drivers, breathe this harmful air on the commute to and from school, which has a negative impact on health and academic performance, particularly for students with asthma and other respiratory conditions. The status quo is unacceptable. We look forward to working with Senator Padilla to continue our school's transition to a greener and healthy mode of transportation."
The Zūm fleet currently drives 1,500 OUSD students to and from school every day, running nearly one million miles per school year. Electrifying all of the buses within the fleet will reduce carbon emissions by 1,200 tonnes per year, which are otherwise emitted by diesel buses. Zūm is also working with San Francisco Unified School District to transition its fleet to 100% electric by 2025.
"At OUSD, our job as educators is to prepare students to succeed in their future. By setting this groundbreaking goal for electrification, we are also demonstrating that we are committed to a more sustainable future for our kids," said Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Oakland Unified School District Superintendent. "We are incredibly proud to partner with the team at Zum to make OUSD one of the first districts in the nation with all-electric school buses by 2025."
OUSD is using the Zum dashboard as an end-to-end resource to manage daily operations, track and plan budget use, and analyze performance and service data. Zūm's multi-modal approach and cloud-based technology delivers fleet efficiency and optimization, making it possible to drive widespread adoption of electric buses. Its commitment to transition OUSD to a 100% electric fleet by 2025 furthers the movement toward zero-emission student transportation and efforts to positively impact the planet.
Zūm has reimagined student transportation, the nation's largest mass transit system. Our end-to-end cloud-based platform integrates with district fleets to provide a modern service that is purpose-built around the needs of kids and the expectations of their families. Zūm 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-vehicle approach including electric vehicles, 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 8M miles completed today, we are leading a new era of safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable transportation. Learn more at www.ridezum.com.