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Zum wins $150M from San Francisco schools to modernize and electrify student transport

The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has awarded Zum, a startup that wants to upgrade student transportation, a five-year $150 million contract to modernize its transport service throughout the district.
Zum, which already operates its rideshare-meets-bus service in Oakland, much of Southern California, Seattle, Chicago and Dallas, will be responsible for handling day-to-day operations, transporting 3,500 students across 150 school campuses starting this fall semester. The startup’s fleet of 206 buses, vans and cars is distributed based on specific use cases, placing students who live on busier routes on school buses and sending out cars and vans for others to increase efficiency. Zum will also facilitate over 2,000 field trips per year for the school district.
Aside from Zum’s five-year $53 million contract with Oakland Unified School District, which began in 2020, the SFUSD contract is the largest the startup has ever won. The company intends to use the funds to lease vehicles, hire drivers — a mix of salaried employees and gig economy workers — improve customer and operational support, and research and develop product enhancements to support the contract, a spokesperson for Zum told TechCrunch.
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