Miles To Go: School Transportation For The 21st Century

C-1DGz_XoAATNkk.jpg-largeWe’re releasing a new analysis on school transportation today. Looks at the big picture issues of school transportation, promising forward-looking ideas, and the challenges.

We held an event this morning at Union Station in Washington to release it. It featured a discussion with practitioners and analysts from Florida, Massachusetts, Idaho, and Washington. (And attendees were driven to work afterwards in this school bus to the right).

You can find the paper here (pdf). Transportation is a foundational education issue that touches on the educational experience of schools, efficiency concerns for school districts, educational choice, and the environment. So a lot going on.

From the paper:

The image emerging from our work is grim. School districts struggle to provide efficient service in the face of escalating costs and increasingly complex education systems where more and more students attend schools outside their neighborhoods. Stagnant state funding streams force districts either to sacrifice service quality and forego system upgrades or divert funds from other purposes. Federal and state regulations concerning student safety and special student populations’ educational rights are at odds with strategies to improve efficiency. All those competing priorities must be carefully balanced.

Factors such as a shortage of qualified bus drivers and fuel market volatility further complicate these matters. Also, districts have largely failed to adopt even basic technologies to improve data collection as well as operational and cost-efficiency, much less major overhauls, such as replacing diesel with alternative fuels.

To improve current school transportation systems, we recommend three types of innovations…

You can read the entire paper here.

2 Replies to “Miles To Go: School Transportation For The 21st Century”

  1. This is a legitimate concerns for school districts as they begin to encounter aging transportation. Buying a new fleet of vehicles takes a tremendous capital outlay that many districts don’t have. I wonder if there is anything creative that could be done in partnership with local or state municipalities to partner on energy efficient transportation options. Maybe it makes sense for districts to work with their cities to create coop like partnerships in which schools use the busses for transportation but cities use them during the downtime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.