School Bus Maintenance: An Analysis of Costs
published on March 03, 2017 by Sonia Mastros
School buses transport millions of students each day to and from schools and special activities. During an average school year, around 10 billion student trips are made. Buses come in many designs and capacities and different districts have varying requirements regarding the age that each bus should be in service. Both of these factors, along with the size of your fleet, influence the total cost of school bus maintenance for your district.
The Cost to Districts
School Transportation News Magazine recently surveyed its readers to determine how much school bus maintenance costs, on average. Based on the response of their readership, they calculated an estimated cost for fleets with over and under 100 buses. These estimates include pricing for parts and labor.
According to these results, the average cost of school bus maintenance for districts that operate more than 100 vehicles is just over $5,500 per year. For districts with less than 100 vehicles, the average cost is similar, coming in at $43 less per year.
The average age of buses in fleets of both sizes was reported as 6 to 10 years. Of course, the newer the buses, the less they generally cost to maintain, but on average, labor expenses ran around $1,500 to $1,600 per bus. Regular maintenance is necessary for keeping buses safe, but costs can be lowered by negotiating with vendors and researching options for discounted parts and services.
One way to save your district money on school bus maintenance is to reduce the strain on your buses. Optimizing your routes can help your transportation department run more efficiently by minimizing the number of stops, idle time and overall mileage for each of the buses in your fleet. Specialized transportation software can help you to accomplish this objective and lower your average maintenance costs.
To learn more about optimizing your school bus routes, and the state-of-the-art tools that can help you to do so, contact the team of transportation specialists at BusBoss. We will work with you to help you find solutions that will help you operate your buses safely and more efficiently.
What is the average cost for school bus maintenance for your school district? What techniques do you use to keep costs down? We appreciate your feedback.