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March 01, 2013  |   Comments (2)   |   Post a comment

Achieving efficiency in special-needs bus service

In conducting our 2013 Special-Needs Survey, we asked recipients what efficiencies or cost savings they’ve been able to achieve in special-needs transportation, and how they did so. Here are some responses.


We have implemented area pickups. Drivers pick up all special-ed students in a designated area regardless of what school they attend. The buses meet in a central location and transfer students onto [a] bus servicing their assigned school. This reduces the students’ ride time and reduces cost through mileage and driver time.
Director of Transportation
Austintown Local School District
Youngstown, Ohio

With our geography pattern, we were able to combine Head Start students, pre-K and as many elementary students as feasible on the same routes in the mornings.
Supervisor of Transportation
King George (Va.) County Public Schools

One of the procedures we have in place is taking daily attendance. If a student does not ride the bus three consecutive days, we will discontinue their transportation until a parent/guardian calls in. This has been a big help to us.
Director of Transportation
Tolleson (Ariz.) Union High School District

Looking at programs and bringing students to placements that are closer to the home district when possible has helped reduce some costs. ... Co-oping with [a] neighboring district has had a significant impact on our special-education routes for both our district and the neighboring district. Each of us has been able to eliminate some one-on-one transportation problems. We either trade services or bill each other for services.
Director of Transportation
Peotone (Ill.) Community School District 207-U

Set [a] two-tier bell schedule that is universal for all student populations at one school site. If they share a campus, then they often can share the school bus.
Transportation Fleet Supervisor
Sacramento (Calif.) City Unified School District

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Read more about: cutting costs, efficiency

What are the rules and regulations concerning a special needs student who screams at will and spits at anyone near them?

Rachel    |    Sep 11, 2013 06:45 AM

We have developed catchment areas by student's (autism, multiple disabilities, etc.) special needs program. This geographically optimizes the fleet to run efficient and not have buses crossing one another. Each school year with meet with our Specail Needs Department and make any necessary adjustments so classroom sizes stay consistent.

Doris Bean    |    Jun 30, 2013 12:55 PM

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