SBF’s 2013 Special-Needs Survey found that on average, nearly one quarter (23%) of the buses in respondents’ fleets are small buses (30 passengers or fewer).
Photo courtesy of West County Transportation Agency
This year’s Special-Needs Survey, which appears in our forthcoming February 2013 issue, uncovered interesting information from respondents on a range of topics.
Continuing trends from 2012 and 2011, respondents’ special-needs ridership has increased. These students represent 8.7% of the passengers on their buses. In 2012, the figure was 6.9%.
Pupil transporters showed that they are prepared to handle this increase, indicating, for example, that they transport many different items and equipment on their buses. EpiPens are among those items, and 61.6% of respondents said that they have them on board.
Other survey questions touched on conducting home visits for special-needs students, and surveillance cameras on special-needs buses. Data in response to the latter question indicated that on average, just over half (50.6%) of respondents’ special-needs buses are equipped with video surveillance cameras to monitor the ride.
Although it did not make it into the survey in the February issue, we also asked respondents about student transportation costs — specifically, the cost of transporting a special-needs student compared to the cost of transporting a regular-education student.
On average, respondents’ average annual cost of transporting a student with special needs is $41,596. The average annual cost of transporting a regular-education student is less than half that, at $18,789.
For more data in this year’s Special-Needs Survey, see pg. A12 of the forthcoming February issue. The survey is also accessible with a premium membership to the research section of our website here.
Other material from our February 2013 issue:
• Special-needs collaboration streamlines service