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School transportation: What’s going well in 2022

school transportation what's going well in 2022Our 2022 State of School Transportation Report report revealed a variety of concerns and frustrations that school transportation and administration professionals across the country are facing when it comes to getting students to and from school. Despite what survey respondents had to say about current challenges, however, many of them also highlighted numerous things that are going well in their school transportation operations.

As was the case with our 2021 survey, this year’s respondents applauded teachers, school staff, bus drivers and everyone else who works hard every day to ensure that students have reliable, safe rides to school. 

Here’s a roundup of some of the many things that survey respondents say are going well in today’s student transportation landscape.

(Curious about successes revealed by last year’s survey? Check out 2021’s school transportation silver linings.)

Schools and communities are dedicated to student success

schools and communities are dedicated to student successOne common compliment survey respondents paid to their employees, contractors and communities? Their commitment to the students. 

“I have a group of contractors who work their tails off for the sake of the kids,” said Angela Marshall, a transportation director. 

Taylor Perrington Ashley, who works as a supervisor of transportation, agreed. “I have some really great drivers who have stepped up to the plate to help out. They have doubled up on runs, covered other routes last minute and have been incredibly patient with changes on the fly.”

“Because of the driver shortage, it has really shown us the team spirit that we have within our school district and community,” shared another anonymous survey respondent. “Not only did we have the athletic director and superintendent volunteering daily, we also had community members stepping up to get their license to help out.”

School districts are making it work

school transportation districts are making it workDespite bus driver shortages, COVID-19 concerns, budget cuts and other school transportation pain points, many survey respondents emphasized that districts and schools are still getting students to school. 

That is at least partly due, respondents reported, to the creativity, teamwork and resolve of transportation professionals and school administrators. 

“Generally, we have not had to cancel bus routes or make drastic reductions in routes yet,” said Gregory Dutton, a director of transportation. 

Dodi Young, a transportation coordinator, agreed that the job is still getting done despite the challenges. When asked what was going well, she replied: “A solid percentage of on-time routes, even with shortages.”

Another anonymous respondent mentioned that logistically, they’ve had success with planning routes this school year. “Our route planning and overall operational organization has been working well.”

School transportation staff are going above and beyond

school transportation staff are going above and beyondThe outstanding efforts of bus drivers and other transportation staff were singled out by many survey respondents.

Trudy Foster, a transportation director, was particularly grateful for contracted drivers who stand ready to help out. “As drivers retire or separate, we always have contracted drivers without assigned routes who can move to that position. In our district, the drivers go above and beyond to make sure all runs are covered, and they always offer to help,” she said. 

Pay raises for school bus drivers have helped, according to one anonymous respondent, who also mentioned that efforts to train drivers faster have had a positive impact. “The drivers are being better compensated and many are committed to their jobs,” the respondent said. “We are blessed with an incredible Driver Trainer who is getting drivers trained as quickly as possible.”

Want to learn more about what’s going well in student transportation today? Have a look through our State of School Transportation 2022 Report for more insights. 

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