Navigating Local Politics: Zūm in Coronado
Zūm Services, Inc., a children-focused transportation company, was looking to expand into Coronado, an island community near San Diego. The company’s initial model in the San Francisco Bay area was to offer families trusted transportation options for their children, but Zūm had since expanded in several U.S. markets by contracting directly with school districts to provide supplemental or alternative transportation for students. By 2019, Zūm operated in more than 140 school districts, and had transported more than 750,000 students.
Bidding for a contract with the Coronado Unified School District, Zūm found itself in competition with Care A Van, which had been the district’s sole transport provider for special needs students. The next step was to convince the School Board to sign a contract with Zūm. The case invites in-depth discussion of strategies to convince local officials, and asks business students to consider the strategy Zūm and Care A Van should pursue in dealing with the local school board, which will make a determination.