Does School Bus Ridership Influence Student Engagement?

student bus transportation, student engagement, school bus ridership

shutterstock_199611968.jpgSchool buses continue to be touted as one of the safest forms of transportation around, but does school bus ridership also influence student engagement? An Education Week report suggests that student engagement starts to drop between the fifth and sixth grade. The decline in engagement appears to happen alongside a slide in school bus ridership, though the correlation between the two is not completely understood.

Understanding the Link Between Ridership and Engagement

School bus ridership around the country appears to decline around junior high school, just about the same time that student engagement takes a sharp drop. This drop in ridership leads to many school districts cutting or eliminating transportation services for older students, who often walk, ride bicycles, ride with classmates, drive themselves, or take public transportation. Whether this decline is the direct result of school buses appearing juvenile or an increased need for independence is not exactly known.

Some transportation departments are beginning to experiment with programs that may boost both school bus transportation ridership and engagement. For example, setting up social media profiles and offering Wi-Fi services that can be accessed directly from the school bus has started in certain areas. Some districts are also discussing the importance of driver training, which can help drivers relate better to the older students who ride with them, encouraging increased school bus ridership. Involving interested students in the logistics of transportation departments by offering internships and educational programs is another option that is being explored by several school districts.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, school bus transportation has begun to incorporate more technology in its processes. This may be of particular interest to certain students, allowing transportation departments and students to partner together to encourage a positive view of bus ridership will keep them engaged in the educational process.

To learn more about the transportation software that are changing the way that school bus transportation departments operate, contact the professionals at BusBoss. We look forward to discussing the many options that can help you engage riders while keeping them safe.

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What is your school district doing to engage students? Has a tie-in between school bus ridership and engagement been established? What special programs are you using to help achieve your ridership and engagement goals? We’d love to hear about your efforts.