Many districts have bus fleets that are over 10 years old. Why is this a growing problem?
Many school districts are having overall budgeting challenges and it’s difficult to come up with a large amount of capital for fleet replacements, which can range from $85,000 to $150,000 for a single bus. As a result, replacements get deferred for years, especially by districts that have great mechanics keeping these older buses running.
What are the top transportation challenges at school startup?
The biggest challenges are routes, drivers and buses. School bus routing is more complex than other routing. District routes can be affected by ongoing school enrollment and by families moving. During the summer, districts experience higher turnover in bus drivers, which can impact startup. Lastly, readying vehicles for service after sitting through the summer and preparing new incoming vehicles for service presents additional challenges.
The K12 transportation landscape is getting increasingly complex, as districts wrestle with issues ranging from school choice and questions of equity to how to subsidize mass transit for urban students.
Bay Shore Union Free School District, located on the south shore of Long Island and about 50 miles east of New York City, is a small, diverse district of approximately 6,500 students and 8.9 square miles to cover with school transportation.
Turning right on a red light is part of the driving landscape in all 50 states, but school buses generally wait for green.
Many states prohibit a right turn on red for a school bus, but Florida’s Manatee County just started a pilot program that lets drivers of the district’s 150 buses go right on red, potentially saving 10 to 20 minutes per route.
While this one change might cut valuable minutes off a bus route, in some places it’s not as simple as it sounds.
The emotionally charged climates following the tragic attack in Parkland, Florida are understandable, but making knee-jerk decisions with a “do something, do anything, do it now” mantra can lead to high-risk, high-liability actions.