Seattle Schools’ new bus provider looks to hire ahead of upcoming school year

Jun 30, 2022, 8:23 AM | Updated: Jul 6, 2022, 6:38 am
(Flickr Creative Commons)
(Flickr Creative Commons)

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will contract with two yellow bus companies for the 2022-23 school year. One of the providers, Zum Services, has a matter of months to hire the drivers, dispatchers, and operations managers it needs to fulfill its contract.

SPS walks back transportation contract decision, splits award between rival companies

The district has yet to officially confirm its plan to evenly award the contract between Zum and First Student and plans to discuss the contract in an upcoming board of directors meeting July 6. Spokespeople with both contactors have independently verified with MyNorthwest that the district plans to award “a significant portion” of the contract to Zum Services.

First Student had previously been the sole yellow bus transportation provider for the district for over 30 years. In February, SPS awarded the full contract to First Student. Zum appealed the decision with a series of official protests, alleging that the district had mistakenly inflated the price of its bid on the contract.

Rival to First Student exposes Seattle Schools’ fumbled bus-bidding war

Following that alleged mistake, SPS has walked back its award of the full contract to First Student. The district has declined to comment on the award, citing the competitive bid process and reluctance to disclose details until the award has been officially confirmed.

Zum Services has already begun the hiring process, listing job opportunities for the Seattle area ranging from maintenance technicians to part-time drivers.

Their primary operations base will be located in Rainier Beach.

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Seattle Schools’ new bus provider looks to hire ahead of upcoming school year