HomePartner Updates(Report) The State of School Transportation in 2021

(Report) The State of School Transportation in 2021

HopSkipDrive surveyed school transportation professionals to publish this in-depth look at the state of the industry.

There’s no question that school transportation has drastically changed in the past year, yet some things (read: bus driver shortages) have very much stayed the same.

HopSkipDrive set out to find answers to the big questions in school transportation — what’s happening today in purchasing, hiring, alternative school transportation, COVID-19 operational procedures, and more. We also wanted to hear predictions for the 2020-2021 school year.

HopSkipDrive surveyed a wide range of school transportation staff, as well as superintendents and those involved in purchasing, to put together the State of School Transportation 2021 report. This deep dive reveals the survey findings as well as anecdotes from your industry peers.

Check out the report below!

Download the PDF here.

If you don’t have time to read the report now, here are some takeaways:

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.

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.

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.

The four biggest pain points for school transportation staff were:

  • COVID-19 related issues
  • Staffing
  • Funding constraints
  • School bus utilization

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 severity of the bus driver shortage.

Download the Report here!

If you’d like to learn more about HopSkipDrive’s alternative school transportation solution, please visit


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