RideZum RideZum hires individuals to drive school buses, and needs safety inspectors, payroll clerks, dispatchers and maintenance people too.
Expected pay: $26 – $33 per hour
Commissions & fees: NA
Where: Select cities in California, Texas, Illinois and Washington State (and coming soon to DC, Arizona, New York and Florida
Requirements: Background check, commercial license (if you don’t have one, they’re willing to train you to get one for free)
RideZum, which prefers the shorter moniker of Zum, was one of the original sites that enlisted freelancers to drive kids to and from school and activities. The site morphed dramatically in 2022. Zum now hires drivers as employees. And they drive buses — not their own cars.
However, it remains a good option for people who want to drive kids for a living.
How it works
If you want to sign up to drive for the site, you’ll either call the site’s toll-free number, sign up online, or attend an in-person job fair. You will need to become a certified bus driver, if you are not already. However, Zum will train you for free.
The training takes 40 hours. And that is not paid time. That said, you’ll emerge from the training with a commercial driver’s license that qualifies you for well-paid work elsewhere too. So, it’s an investment of time that may be well worth your while.
Pay and benefits
If you’re hired, the site will pay you based on commercial driving experience. New drivers earn $26 per hour; drivers with seven or more years of experience, earn $33 per hour. The site will also ask you to work at least 5 hours a day — and will pay you for five hours a day, regardless of whether their are kids in your bus the whole time.
Importantly, because Zum is now hiring workers as employees, it also pays the 7.65% employer side of Social Security and Medicare taxes. And it promises a full suite of employee benefits, such as health and dental insurance and a 401(k) plan.
Great for parents
The fact that this job’s hours are during the school day makes this a great part-time job for parents with school-age kids. You could essentially ask for the routes that would allow you to take your own children to school and home with you.
That said, the site is rebuilding its once-wide operating footprint. Specifically, where Zum was once available in seven states, it’s now operating only in a handful of cities in California, Illinois, Washington State and Texas. It expects to expand that footprint to Washington, D.C. New York, Arizona and Floria, however. So, keep checking the site for opportunities, if Zum is not currently available in your neighborhood.
It’s worth mentioning that Zum now also has open positions for bus mechanics, dispatchers, safety supervisors, billing and payroll personnel, too.
Zum was a good opportunity for freelance drivers, when they were using their own cars. It’s now an even better opportunity for those who don’t mind driving a bus. This site will pay you better than any other kid-driving option and you have no personal expenses, such as auto maintenance or gas. Additionally, the opportunity to get a commercial driver’s license by investing nothing but time, also opens you up to additional lucrative driving options in the future.
That said, Zum is now slightly less flexible than it was when workers were using their own cars. If you need that flexibility, try one of the other kid-driving apps, such as HopSkipDrive, Kango, RubiRides or KidCar.