Is your school district considering a new partner for your alternative student transportation program? The right transportation contractor will work with your community’s best interests in mind, building a safe, reliable, and efficient program that suits your district’s needs. 

Value versus price 

This is a concept we’re passionate about. When choosing an alternative transportation provider, school administrators should consider a number of qualities that go beyond price.  

Yes, the bottom line always matters – no question – but choosing based on low price alone can end up costing more in terms of efficiency, reliability, and community relations. Below are other factors we urge districts to consider before going straight to the pricing page of a transportation services proposal. 

Safety first 

Your transportation provider should hold safety as its number-one priority. Seek out a contractor with a proven track record of safe driving and a robust safety program for employees. Don’t be shy about asking for a contractor’s safety record and protocols. Any good transportation partner will be more than happy to share this information with your district. 


Technology can be a bit of a moving target for administrators for two reasons: One, virtually every area of student transportation relies on technology in some form, and two, those technologies are constantly evolving. Whether for recruiting, routing, communication, on-board safety, back-office procedures, planned maintenance or repairs, a top-tier transportation contractor will leverage technology to make your alternative transportation program safer and more efficient. Ask questions, seek out their expertise, and choose a contractor that can combine new technology with the all-important human element that makes it work for your district. 

Communication and partnership 

Speaking of the human element, your transportation provider should communicate clearly and honestly with you at all times. Top-rated contractors are responsive and proactive. They are available to answer questions and provide support, especially during urgent circumstances. Ask questions, have conversations, and get a feel for their team before making this important decision.  

Fleet equipment and maintenance 

Equipment can make or break your district’s alternative transportation program. Look for a partner that offers a new or late-model fleet as part of your contract. When it comes to maintaining that fleet, you’ll want a contractor with access to skilled technicians and a comprehensive maintenance program.  

Expertise and experience 

Student transportation is a unique industry, combining technical skills with a people-first mindset. Choose a partner with deep experience in alternative transportation programs. The contractor’s experience with logistics, regulations, equipment, safe driving practices, and behavior management will create a better program for the families you serve. Ask a potential provider for references that show a long history of successful transportation programs in other school districts. 


As with communication, flexibility is one of those intangible qualities that make the difference between an okay program and a great one. As you move through the process of choosing a new transportation partner, be sure to share your district’s challenges and goals. The right partner will offer creative solutions and an understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for alternative student transportation. 

Values and commitments 

Finally, it is essential for school districts to look for a transportation partner that aligns with their values and mission. This can include a commitment to sustainability, a focus on diversity and inclusion, or a dedication to ensuring safe, reliable access to education for all students. 

Choosing the right student transportation partner is a vital decision for every school district. By considering factors such as safety, technology, communication, fleet maintenance, expertise, and values along with price, your district can enjoy an efficient, cost-effective alternative student transportation program. 

Work with the right team  

Want to work with a student transportation team that specializes in safe, efficient, cost-effective programs? Reach out to us to see how Assisted Transportation can help. Contact us here to learn more.