Benefits of Contracting
Transportation Services

Discover the value and benefits of converting to contracted student transportation services, a proven road to cost reduction and service enhancement.

Benefits of Contracting Transportation Services

Student transportation is challenging. In addition to the complexity of daily operations, school districts are caught between increasingly limited resources and ever-changing demands for services. Each year, more school administrators are discovering the value and benefits of converting to contracted student transportation services. It is a proven road to cost reduction and service enhancement.

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Why Contract?

Districts can keep their focus and energy on the classroom. Superintendents claim to have ‘fewer headaches’ with contracted transportation services and can focus on their primary mission: to provide students with a quality education.

Safety

Student safety is a top priority. While contractors are required to meet the same high federal and state standards as in-house operations, they often exceed state minimums. Districts benefit because contractors develop requirements to meet the highest standards in the states they serve.

Cost

Districts that privatize benefit from the initial cost savings, as well as compounded savings for subsequent years. Districts benefit from fixed price agreements with contractually outlined increases, which are usually significantly less than district employee costs (wages, benefits, healthcare, workspace recruiting, etc.). There are no surprises or hidden expenses.

Fleet

Due to industry lifecycle replacement schedules, contractors’ fleets are oftentimes newer than district fleets. District-owned fleet replacements are subjected to budget constraints, BOE approval and/or voter approval. Fleet replacement schedules and maximum fleet age requirements can be built into a contractual agreement to ensure changing economic conditions do not impact the safety and reliability of vehicles.

Bus Maintenance

Contractors employ rigorous preventative maintenance and regular fleet replacements to ensure buses are safe and reliable. Since awell-maintained fleet is critical to success, many contractors have bus and maintenance innovations that further elevate safety.

Local Team

Contracting means more control. Districts choose from a variety of contractor-provided services to establish the service parameters and fulfill their community’s needs.

Ease

While contractors provide school administrators relief from daily transportation worries, the district has maximum control over the service that is delivered. A carefully constructed contract empowers district administrators to dictate their own level of oversight and authority.

Labor

Contracting eliminates the district’s labor management issues, from recruiting and hiring to grievances and employee contract negotiations. The contractor maintains a staffing level set as outlined in the contract agreement. Districts retain elevated control through staffing KPIs and oversite; there is comfort in knowing they can remove a contracted driver from their route for any justifiable reason.

Local Team

Contractors hire existing local district school bus drivers and additional local residents. They are the same familiar faces who often have children or grandchildren attending school in the district. These local team members are invested in the community and have one goal: to transport children safely to and from school each day.

Value

Due to industry lifecycle replacement schedules, contractors’ fleets are oftentimes newer than district fleets. District-owned fleet replacements are subjected to budget constraints, BOE approval and/or voter approval. Fleet replacement schedules and maximum fleet age requirements can be built into a contractual agreement to ensure changing economic conditions do not impact the safety and reliability of vehicles.

Outsourcing student transportation services benefits a district beyond cost savings. It also makes it easier to control the scope of services, providing extraordinary value to the school district. Ultimately, outsourcing allows administrators to focus on education without sacrificing control or accountability in their transportation departments.

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Explore how contracting student transportation can be more cost-effective for school districts compared to in-house services. Our pricing calculator helps districts identify all transportation-related costs to evaluate the potential savings and benefits of outsourcing.

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CONTRACTING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

School districts pursuing transportation contracting options can have questions.
Equip yourself with the basic facts about contracting.

Facts

Outsourcing can streamline your parental engagement.

Outsourcing student transportation can streamline your parental engagement on transportation issues. The district can rest assured that pupil transportation professionals will engage with parents and the community to answer any questions or concerns they may have about bus stops, routing, driver qualifications, and student management. Private contractors have a singular focus on transportation, and the district benefits by not having to allocate personnel across several different areas of responsibility.

Contracting is viable for large and small districts.

Schools districts of all sizes are increasingly assessing their operations to determine how best to provide key services to their communities—and it’s leading them to contract. Districts contract for a number of reasons, including a desire for higher safety standards, cost savings, and access to integrated solutions that can only be obtained with a centralized, dedicated focus.

Outsourcing student transportation is not an all-or-nothing decision.

You have a variety of options around bus ownership and driver employment. You can sell your fleet for immediate cash flow or retain ownership of your buses while outsourcing all other aspects of their transportation operation. Your contractor will work with you to collaborate on what works best for you and your community.

Contractors are experts in their field.

Private contractors whose primary business is pupil transportation have a single focus: to provide school bus service in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while maintaining the highest levels of safety and reliable service. Just as school districts are experts at providing education, private student transportation services contractors are experts at providing transportation solutions.

Contracting eliminates the district's labor management issues.

Private contractors must provide services based on the standards set by the district in the contract agreement. District operations manage grievances and employee contract negotiations, whereas that is not an issue for the district when they contract for services. Districts can have a contracted driver removed from their district at any time for any justifiable reason. Many Superintendents have stated they have ‘fewer headaches’ with contracted transportation services and can spend their time on educational issues