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5 Ways to Reduce School Bus Transportation Costs

School districts across North America are experiencing the realities of shrinking budgets. Unfortunately, when budgets are slashed, transportation departments are often the hardest hit. As students and parents consider the impact of canceled field trips and discontinued programs, transportation departments are scrambling to find solutions. Here are five ways your district can reduce school bus transportation costs while keeping the needs of your students in mind.

Long School Bus Rides Can Save Money, But At What Cost To The Student

Finding ways to save more money for education is always a valid and worthwhile endeavor, as there can’t be an upper price placed on your children’s education. However, whether your district chooses to consolidate the total number of schools into a smaller number consisting of larger schools, or minimize school transportation costs, can have serious effects on your most valuable commodity: your students.

How To Make Bus Routing Software Work For You

The greatest thing about bus management and routing these days is the ability to complete everything through technology and software. You don't have to worry about the mountains of paperwork that goes into tracking students, distances to different bus routes, making sure buses are on time, and a bunch of other responsibilities.

Transportation Costs Impact on School Budgets

Transportation Costs Impact on School Budgets

School transportation costs eat a huge chunk of any schools budget. The cost of transporting kids to school needs to be reduced.

Because there is such a high impact on school budgets from school transportation costs, school buses could soon become scarce. This could save the government millions of dollars, however it leaves parents and educators worried about the potential danger this will pose to children going to and from school.

This also makes life difficult for the decision makers namely school bus routing contractors, vehicle routing coordinators and school bus transportation staff in general. If you are in this type of employment then it is very likely that you will feel the brunt of any animosity from parents. It's a no win situation for you.

School buses vs. Parent Transport;

Whenever schools are facing financial troubles, it is usually the school transportation costs that need to be reduced. School bus routing contractors will need to ensure that their decisions are made for the greater good of the pupils as a whole. They will need to analyze fuel costs and mileages to cut the school transportation costs without making it too difficult for students to attend school. No matter what they decide there is a very high probability that school buses will be replaced by parent's vehicles. If this happens the traffic on the roads will increase significantly, which in turn will have a negative impact on health and the environment.

School Bus Routing Alternative;

Vehicle routing coordinators have a hard task ahead of them, however you are not alone. In recent years here has been a lot of research into how schools can cope with their buses being cut. As a result of this research the safe routes to school national partnership have come up with a strategic plan that will be in affect from 2011-2015. 

The safe routes to school national partnership consists of 21 organizations and agencies. Parents, local government and police work together to ensure the safety of children on the trip to and from school.


October is International Walk To School Month.  Register your event or Map-a-route for your school.  Remember, safety first.  Public bus transportation may also be more cost effective, while reducing the number of vehicles on the road. 


To conclude;

Although there may not be as many buses available due to cuts in school transportation costs, it would seem that parents and communities are coming together, walking or cycling to school which is definitely healthier for all concerned.

Are you looking for ways to reduce costs by minimizing buses?  We can help.


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When Does Ensuring Child Stability Require Bus Routing?

We are currently living in the era of speed and mobility. While this can have numerous economical advantages, things are not always positive when it comes to children’s education. For the little ones, stability is very important and the lack of it can seriously impact their psychological and intellectual development. This is why, when the shift in your family’s residence allows it, parents should do their best to let kids attend the same school, even if it requires the use of public or private transportation. However, the choice of the preferred means of transport is not so easy. Here are some aspects to consider:

School Districts Take Steps to Reduce Their Transportation Costs

With rising gas prices and decreasing school budgets, minimizing school bus transportation costs has never been more beneficial to a school than now. Because of the great variability in how much you might get from one year to the next for transportation costs, you may end up taking money from other school functions to help make up the slack. Since this is inevitably barring new legislation, it is a good idea to try your best to optimize the school transportation costs, by employing a handful of practices:

School Transportation Costs Drive Districts Toward Change

With school transportation costs rising, many public schools are beginning to make drastic changes to their transportation polices. The more the schools must depend on themselves and less on government funding, the burden of school transportation costs falls to schools and parents alike.

For instance, in the case of Westford Public Schools in Massachusetts, they are requiring a fee for allowing children within two miles of the school to ride the bus. At present, those who live outside a two-mile radius are still allowed to ride without a fee. However, all students are required to have bus passes. These can range from $225 to $600, depending on how many children from each family are riding.

Whereas, Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado are charging students $150 per student for all those who ride. Children who are within walking distance of the school will be required to pay $200, but will be allowed only if there is room. Kindergartners, either half- or full-day students will be required to pay between $75 to $100, depending on whether they attend the neighborhood schools or an optional one.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has taken a different view, in hopes of reducing the school transportation costs. The bus schedules have been tiered, to allow the same bus to cover two different routes. This reduces the number of buses and personnel required. However, this also changes the daily schedule for the school, of when they begin and end for the day. They also require that children attending option schools, instead of neighborhood schools, be transported by the parents. There have even been changes in the boundaries for which areas will be serviced by the neighborhood schools. The Kenai Schools also are reducing their driver contracts from five years to one year, in hope of finding more ways to reduce costs, without commitments to employees. This way, they are able to see if merely changing schedules and using fewer buses will reduce school transportation costs significantly enough to keep their doors open.

Are there ways that you have found that work? Has there been a situation where an idea has been tried and did not work? It may be helpful for different schools to share some ideas, in order to reduce the trial and error stage of trying to save money on school transportation costs. In this economy, every little bit helps and schools need all the help they can get.

School Transportation Costs, Policies and Practices: A Review of ...

School Transportation Costs, Policies and Practices: A review of …

School transportation routes and therefore costs will change at the start of the 2012 - 2013 school year.  If your child is enrolled at a primary school, you should read this very important information. 

As School District and Department of Education policies can vary in how they deal with transportation cuts we are using California as an example.  If you need information from a specific school district we can add links, as requested.  Bus schedules and routes will be changing nationwide, the following is a review of some of the expected changes.

California Governor Brown's budget which cuts school transportation costs has left parents and schools extremely worried. The Department of Education thinks the best way to deal with the cuts is to increase school bus fees for those who pay and change the eligibility of those who normally get to ride the bus for free. It seems that they think doing this will reduce the number of children riding the bus. Meaning many students will need to walk, cycle or be driven to school.

If your child is eligible to ride on the school bus through CSR, (Corporate Social Responsibility), they no longer will be because the CSR will no longer be available. 

The California State Board of Education approved plan for school transportation costs 2012-2013;


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