Thanks to Zūm for sponsoring 510families.com this week. Zūm was born out of a working mom’s firsthand experience managing two active kids and a busy Silicon Valley career.
Zūm provides safe rides for kids, and when needed short term childcare before or after rides. All drivers are kid friendly and rigorously background checked. Zūm drivers all wear distinctive Zūm T-shirts and drive cars with Zūm decals for easy identification.
I flipping love the idea of a service that eases my actual pain points from having three busy children, two employed parents, and one tired minivan. Zūm allows me to bake in waiting time so the driver always beats the camp bus to the bus stop. For example, the Zūmer (as they’re called) could pick up one child, bring him somewhere, wait 15 minutes for other child to get out, and bring them both home. The Zūm app also allows me to “add services” to a ride such as a few minutes of bridge childcare or feeding my hungry kids a snack.
I also love that local parents can drive kids for Zūm and earn extra income — whether it’s money for children’s educations, a family trip, or a date night at Chez Panisse, extra cash is more than helpful. Driving for Zūm is flexible and Zūmers can work around their family's schedules. Orthodontist appointment? Take the afternoon shift off. Unlike other rideshare companies you can drive local kids in your own neighborhood. You also know your schedule a day in advance so there’s predictability. You can even get repeat rides from favorite families just around the block.
Here’s a quick peak at how the Zūm app works for booking rides for kids:
I appreciate the little extras that go beyond adult ride services like that the driver was able to sign my children in or out of their childcare situation; the kids did not need to have their own phones; Zūm texted me and my husband at all steps along the way; I could follow the ride in real-time on a map. Carpools can also be arranged.
My children took Zūm for a test ride recently, and it was our first time trying out one of these services. Eek. I came away with the conclusion that there are three main partners in the kid rideshare exchange:
- Qualified driver. All drivers for Zūm are all fingerprinted, Trustline-certified, DMV-checked, interviewed, with vehicles inspected.
- Opinionated child. The kid needs to be on board with the ride for everyone to be happy. It helped my sons to have each other — yay! — and that I showed them a photo in the morning of who to expect.
- Satisfied parent. I need to feel like my kids are safely getting from Point A to Point B or on multi-hop trips. Notifications and live tracking along the way help a lot!
I think Zūm is perfect for my family for those certain days of the week when PTA, soccer, martial arts, and special preschool meetings all seem to hit on the same day. I think the cost of about $24 per ride is cost prohibitive for an “every day all summer” kind of arrangement, it is totally in line with childcare costs and just the thing when you're in a bind. In fact, my kids immediately proposed we do Zūm again when we had a scheduling snafu this week.
What Zūm wants you to know:
Zūm is the only service that is serving all 6 counties of the Bay Area, and has the highest number of drivers and families enrolled and giving or taking rides. No other service can claim having driven over 2 million miles in the Bay Area and partnership with premium schools and activity centers like Zūm. Zūm is the only service that provides upfront visibility of price to the parents and charges them based on it. Carpools start at $8 and families can easily create their own carpools with friends of their kids from the App.
Requirements: Riders must be ages 5-18 (although riders in special education programs can be older)
Car seats: Parents can specify if they want a booster seat assigned to their child for all rides. Zūm does not currently provide car seats for younger children.
Pricing model: Rides start at $16 and additional care can be added on at the rate of $6 per quarter hour.
Try it out: Click here to try Zūm.
Want to be a Zūmer? Click here to apply to become a Zūm driver. You’ll need to be 21 or older, have 3+ years of childcare or parenting experience, drive a well-maintained 2008+ vehicle and have a spotless background.
Thanks again to Zūm for sponsoring today's post. As far as we know, we were stealthy in our tests of their service, but these screen shots were provided after the fact. Thank you also to Zūm for helping me figure out how to make the ū thingie.