Uncovering Fleet Opportunities & Challenges Facing School Districts

Survey results show budget cuts and lack of access to capital prohibit the acquisition of new vehicles and hinder efforts to provide safe, reliable school transportation.

fleet services survey
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Transportation Services Co. (TSC), an innovative fleet management services company working with public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, has released a new study shedding light on the opportunities and challenges facing school bus management professionals.

The nationwide survey was commissioned by TSC and administered by an independent market research company. It was distributed to 1,615 school officials and transportation professionals responsible for student transportation in the U.S. education sector. The study realized an impressive 18.6% response rate, representing 301 superintendents, transportation directors and other school administrators located throughout the United States.

“Student transportation fleet management is a challenge for most districts,” stated Tod Eskra, president of TSC. “It’s evident that the age of school buses impacts safe, reliable service and that is why districts need to acquire new vehicles, but they are often limited by budget constraints largely because they pay cash for new buses.”

“Districts that are paying cash are not really doing themselves any favors,” he continued. “In the survey results, we were encouraged to see some districts financing or leasing, which are viable options that more should consider to improve their situations.”

2019 Survey Results

Age of District Fleet Impacts Student Transportation Services

26% of school bus fleet are 11-29 years old.Recognition of the impact that the age of school buses has on a school district’s ability to provide safe and reliable student transportation services was high among respondents. Virtually all (98%) of transportation directors, superintendents and other respondents felt the age of their fleet was either “essential” (58.8%) or “important” (38.9%) to their ability to provide safe and reliable student transportation service.

Acquiring New Buses is a Top School District Priority

Survey respondents were asked to identify their school district’s short- (next 12 months) and near-term (2 to 5 years) priorities. The top three priorities for both the short- and near-terms were:

  • Acquire new or newer school buses
  • Sell older buses
  • Reduce fleet costs

Lack of Budget is Biggest Barrier to Fleet Modernization

The biggest barriers to school bus fleet modernization.A clear majority of survey respondents (71%) identified “budget” as the greatest barrier to modernizing their fleet of school buses, followed by “lack of purchasing power” (10%) and lack of financing options (8%).

For more information on the survey results and to view all the findings, download the full report.

Transportation Services Company, a member of the TransPar Group of Companies, is a full-service fleet management company that helps their clients cut costs and increase efficiencies across the entire spectrum of their fleet. TSC has a robust menu of products and services that support every aspect of a vehicle life cycle from bus specification development and acquisition, funding, fleet maintenance, parts management, risk management, and fueling through replacement planning. For more information, please visit us online.