5 takeaways from The State of School Transportation 2021 Report
Written by Aylin Cook
We surveyed a wide range of school transportation staff, as well as Superintendents and those involved in purchasing. The results were eye-opening — enough to fill a comprehensive report!
If you don’t have time to read right now, here are five major takeaways from our State of School Transportation 2021 Report.
1. Bus driver shortages are still a major issue
Overwhelmingly, our respondents’ biggest pain point was clear: the ongoing bus driver shortage. The vast majority of those who participated in the survey said that COVID-19 will exacerbate the shortage, both now and down the road.
Nearly four-fifths (78.46%) of respondents flagged the bus driver shortage as a problem. Only 16.92% of respondents called it a non-issue.
2. Bus driver shortages are the main reason why many school districts believe it will take time before they could resume normal operations.
More than half (55%) of school districts with populations between 25,000 – 100,000 students believed it could take three months or more to resume normal transportation operations.
- Bus driver shortages
- Hybrid schedules
- Not enough substitute bus drivers
- Bell times, etc.
3. The majority of respondents think general education services will stay the same as pre-COVID
While bus driver shortages and budgets are an issue, the vast majority — 61.54% of respondents — will not increase or decrease general education services in the 2021 – 2022 school year.
4. The four biggest pain points for school transportation staff were:
- COVID-19 related issues
- Funding constraints
- School bus utilization
5. Purchasing for the 2021-2022 school year may be delayed due to budget constraints, but hiring won’t.
School budgets will delay 40% of respondents from purchasing new vehicles next year. One thing that won’t be put on hold: hiring, likely due to the severity of the bus driver shortage.