In January 2020, the School Board overseeing the Oak Park and River Forest School District (OPRF) approved a contract with Zum Services, Inc., a ridesourcing (TNC) company that exclusively transports students. With this new contract, Zum drivers provide transportation for the high school’s special education students. Parents can access an app that allows them to see their child’s location in real time. Previously, this transportation was provided by Grand Prairie, the company that provides all bus transportation for OPRF students. According to the school’s estimates, it anticipates saving approximately $10,000 per month by switching to Zum, a sum of over $70,000 through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
All drivers are vetted by Zūm, are required to hold a Class D School Bus Permit issued by the Illinois Secretary of State and receive extensive school bus driver training. They also receive specified training in transporting students with special needs and de-escalation techniques. All driver vehicles are inspected twice per year by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The company asserts that it has over 150 partnerships with schools across seven different states, including one with the Evanston, IL school district, a suburb just north of Chicago.