MNPS partners with Zum to help disadvantaged get to school

WSMV's Michael Warrick reports on the new app.
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 6:14 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) announced a five-year contract with student transportation company Zum on Tuesday.

Zum, which is a California-based company, is used in school districts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle.

It allows parents to track their child’s trips to and from school through an app. Each driver hired by Zum is required to complete state and federal training requirements.

MNPS says the partnership is specifically to help special needs, homeless and foster children who may not have access to a traditional bus route. MNPS estimates between 50 to 100 students could use the new transportation option every day.

“Metro Schools is committed to ensuring the continuity of learning for students experiencing special and unique circumstances that create transportation challenges,” Sean Braisted, Executive Officer of Communications with MNPS, said. “Having partners like Zum who can be on-call to service their unique transportation needs will help us to meet our district’s goal of ensuring every student is known and cared for.”

Mother of three, Lilah Lehning sees the benefits but is cautious about her children’s safety.

“I mean I think whatever advantage you can give to children in that situation would be huge,” Lehning said. “Personally, I’d be really skeptical with other people driving my children to school, but I guess that’s not much different than a bus, honestly.”

Through the Zum app, parents are able to track their child’s trip in real-time, and can access information about the driver as well.

Their fleet of energy-efficient vehicles includes buses, vans and cars.

“Zum is at the forefront of a massive transformation in student transportation, helping thousands of schools move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to a modern experience that provides parents, students, drivers and districts with safer, greener, more reliable, transportation services,” said Ritu Narayan, founder and CEO at Zum. “With this decision, Metro Nashville Public School District demonstrates its commitment to a future where student transportation advances equity, accessibility and environmental stewardship for the community.”

To learn more about how Zum works, visit