For school administrators, student transportation has always presented certain challenges: fuel costs, driver recruitment, and fleet management, to name just three. Providing compliant, dependable student transportation for children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, or those in foster care presents specific challenges for school administrators. In their search for solutions, a growing number of school districts are partnering with student transportation contractors who specialize in alternative transportation programs.
It makes sense. Delegating student transportation to a trusted, experienced partner can help educators manage costs and increase efficiency, while ensuring all students have safe, reliable access to education.
In this post, we’ll address the benefits of contracting with an alternative transportation provider that can expertly partner with you to best serve your district’s student transportation needs.
Focus on drivers
In today’s tight job market, recruiting and retaining safe, reliable drivers is more challenging than ever. Transporting students requires not just extensive training, but a special sense of commitment to the community.
School administrators may find themselves managing a transportation program that consumes their time and energy responding to a litany of problems, including driver shortages, schedule delays, or disruptions due to short staffing. A top-tier alternative transportation provider will have a robust recruiting and retention program for drivers, designed to minimize staffing issues.
By sharing responsibility with a highly qualified transportation provider, districts can focus on their educational mission, knowing student transport is in good hands.
Maintain reliability of transportation
A primary benefit of contracted services is improved reliability as a result of thoughtful fleet management. Experienced technicians help keep inspections and maintenance programs running smoothly, while a knowledgeable dispatch team offers expertise in scheduling and routing. Both help manage costs and time.
Maximize savings and efficiency
Given the financial constraints of most school districts, an in-house transportation program can have an outsized effect on a school budget. The right contracted alternative student transportation service, however, can leverage economies of scale. Whether it’s for the people, processes, or technology your district needs, a contracted transportation partner often can glean savings and efficiencies that might otherwise be out of reach with an in-house program.
Adhere to strict safety standards
The most significant advantage of contracted student transportation services is safety. From maintenance and inspections to background checks and ongoing driver training, an experienced, professional transportation provider helps ensure that students are being transported safely.
A consistent transportation program using a contracted fleet can help with traffic congestion around schools by reducing the number of vehicles entering and exiting each day. It also reduces the opportunity for traffic accidents and can even improve air quality.
Adapt to changing industry regulations
Federal, state, and local laws and regulations in student transportation have been changing at an increasing pace over the past decade. Laws and regulations regarding student access to education, emissions, route planning protocols, and driver standards are a lot to keep up with, especially for administrators with so much else on their plates.
Contracting with an alternative student transportation provider places compliance in the hands of trained professionals, helping to mitigate the risk of falling into legal non-compliance.
In addition to addressing and resolving the above issues, a top-tier student transportation contractor helps districts to predict, manage, and perhaps even reduce school transportation costs. By entrusting the management of fleets, maintenance, technology, and staffing to an expert team, districts can realize significant savings. This is especially beneficial for smaller school districts with limited resources.
Work with the right team
Want to work with an alternative student transportation provider that specializes in safe, efficient, professional programs? Reach out to us to learn more about how Assisted Transportation can help. Contact us here.