Student Services

Santa Barbara Unified School District Gains Tech-Enabled Transportation Safety Features with New School Bus Contract

Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) has awarded a five-year, $30 million contract for school bus service to the Zūm school transportation company. The company is known for its 100% carbon neutral student transportation and its electric school bus conversion.

According to a company release, a main feature of Zūm's "advanced safety features and family focused service" is an app through which administrators, staff, parents, or caregivers can:

  • View the complete profile of the child's bus driver;
  • Track in real-time the bus's location and child's pickup or dropoff status;
  • Receive automated alerts of any changes;
  • Optimize routes (administrators); and
  • View real-time data and driver performance reports for making decisions.

The company provides vehicles of varying sizes to accommodate smaller or larger groups. It also said it has made a commitment to SBUSD, county and state officials, and other key stakeholders to develop a plan to transition the entire bus fleet to electric vehicles in the next five years. Its Net Zero Initiative leads this effort.

Zūm said it furnishes 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."

For more information about the company, visit Zūm's home page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.