HopSkipDrive Publishes State of School Transportation Survey Findings

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Results reveal COVID-19’s effect on school transportation, an exacerbated bus driver shortage and predictions for next school year.

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Bus driver shortages are still a major issue: Only 16.92% of respondents called the bus driver shortage a non-issue, with 81% reporting that COVID-19 will exacerbate the shortage.

HopSkipDrive, the innovative safe youth transportation solution, today released its comprehensive State of School Transportation 2021 Report. Based on data from survey respondents — a wide-ranging sample of Superintendents, Directors of Transportation and transportation staff — the Report reveals the state of the bus driver shortage, how school budgets will affect transportation, what the 2020-2021 school year looked like in terms of transportation as well as predictions for 2021-2022.

As one of the backbones of education, school transportation enables access to learning. Transportation, much like the education system, is heavily affected by budgets and operational challenges. HopSkipDrive set out to analyze exactly what issues are most pressing, how COVID-19 is affecting, and will continue to affect, transportation, as well as the sentiments of the professionals that help children get to school each day.

Survey results included these findings:

Bus driver shortages are still a major issue: Only 16.92% of respondents called the bus driver shortage a non-issue, with 81% reporting that COVID-19 will exacerbate the shortage.

Bus driver shortages are the main reason why some school districts believe it will take up to three months to resume normal operations. Hybrid schedules, not enough substitute bus drivers and adjusted bell times also may affect operations.

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 and school bus utilization

The survey respondents held various school transportation positions, and spanned from districts as small as under 5,000 students to districts over 100,000 students. Respondents reported a wide range of students currently attending school in person, from all students learning virtually to over 61% of students in the physical classroom. The percentage of students, pre-COVID, who relied on school transportation, also varied widely.

While the report was quantitative, respondents also offered anecdotes sharing their frustration at bus driver shortages and various other pain points, as well as what is going well in their school transportation operations today.

Read the full report here: HopSkipDrive State of School Transportation 2021 Report

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Aylin Cook
HopSkipDrive
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since: 06/2014
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