EPA Awarded Zum Over $26 Million in Grants to Purchase Electric School Buses
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EPA Awarded Zum Over $26 Million in Grants to Purchase Electric School Buses

Zum Electric school buses parked and letting children off
  • Zum was one of five California transportation organizations to win grants to purchase new electric school buses.
  • Clean school buses will improve the health of the children who ride, as diesel emissions have proven to irritate the lungs and exacerbate asthma symptoms.
  • Zum uses an AI platform and app to provide transparency in student transportation to and from school.

The EPA awarded $26 million in Clean School Bus Program Grants to transportation company Zum (pronounced “zoom”). The company is changing the way schools transport children to and from school. The grant will speed up the company’s goal of eventually using 100% electric school buses.

Four school districts in California also received a combined total of over $61 million to purchase 154 clean school buses. Zum will be able to purchase 80 school buses.


How Zum Is Transforming School Bus Transportation

Along with moving children on electric school buses, Zum uses an innovative AI-driven tech platform designed to fight climate change. Zum also provides a convenient app for parents to track their students on their journeys to and from school.

The Clean School Bus Program Grants Competition comes from the Investing in America agenda, which has a goal of turning the fleet of American school buses into 100% electric. It encourages electric school bus companies to produce more vehicles and continue researching range and battery efficiency.

School buses are the perfect choice to change to EVs due to the overnight downtime for charging and the repeated local routes. The typical electric school bus range is about 100 miles, which is more than enough for more bus routes to and from school.

Improving Health and Safety with an Electric School Bus Initiative

Over the years, research shows that diesel buses emit fumes that not only pollute the environment but also cause health issues for the children inside. Idling school buses expose school-age children to pollutants that can harm their lungs and exacerbate asthma. The nitrogen oxides in diesel emissions can cause headaches, irritability, and tiredness, especially when children riding buses already have asthma.

Zum’s founder and CEO Ritu Narayan said, “Our goal is to ensure that all students have access to safe, reliable, and sustainable transportation, and this grant award will propel our electrification efforts in many of the districts that we serve. We are grateful and honored to be a part of this initiative.”


The EPA is encouraging and offering assistance to school districts to replace their diesel buses with electric school buses. Having clean rides to school can help school children breathe clean air and give them a leg up toward a healthier future.

School districts can save money on fuel, oil, and bus repairs while also improving local air quality. While the costs of electric school buses might be higher at first, maintaining them will lower transportation costs in the long run. The EPA grant helps lower the cost of an electric school bus program. 

Safe and Sustainable School Transportation Services

Oakland Unified School District currently uses Zum services for its transportation needs. Kim Raney, Oakland USD’s Transportation Director said, “We appreciate the work being done by local, state, and federal policymakers to support the work being done at the local level and commend our partners at Zum for driving this initiative forward to ensure a healthier, more sustainable experience for the parents and students that we serve.”

Zum also serves other large school districts including Los Angeles Unified School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Seattle Public Schools, and Nashville Public Schools. The company’s goal is to transform the school transportation industry by being more efficient and transparent with digital and electrified services for parents, students, drivers, and school districts.

Zum has improved safety, reliability, and sustainability in communities that use its services. Adding electrified school bus brands like the Blue Bird electric school bus and other electric school bus manufacturers will help school districts better serve their students and families.



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