The company identified several system shifts in the student transportation industry, ranging...

The company identified several system shifts in the student transportation industry, ranging from the school bus driver shortage to rising demand for special-needs transportation.

Image: EverDriven

Alternative student transportation provider EverDriven has announced a series of advancements in response to the surge in demand for alternative student transportation. The company has introduced industry-leading initiatives that make alternative transportation safer, more effective, and more efficient to manage for districts across the United States.

“In the 17 years we have been providing mobility solutions to schools and school districts, we’ve never witnessed such an incredible surge in demand for our services,” said Mitch Bowling, CEO of EverDriven, formerly ALC Schools. “School districts are facing a unique combination of systemic, economic, and societal changes that are driving the need for new approaches to resources, particularly in related services like student transportation.”  

Identifying Systemic Shifts in Student Transportation

With over 600 active district contracts across the country, EverDriven has identified five systemic shifts that are affecting the student transportation industry:  

  • Driver Shortage: Bus drivers are in short supply across the U.S., with 87% of school transportation professionals saying driver shortages are a major problem. 
  • School Choice: Parents and students are increasingly choosing schools beyond their neighborhoods, increasing the need for more transportation options. 
  • Students Experiencing Homelessness and Those in Foster Care: The number of students supported by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act continues to rise, resulting in both greater need for transportation options and more funding for these services.
  • Special-Needs Students: The number of special needs students with unique transportation needs continues to grow.
  • States Codification: More states are adopting alternative-transportation requirements for schools, opening new transportation opportunities and challenges for districts.  

In the past two years, EverDriven has seen unprecedented growth in both district and student demand, with over 100% growth in number of districts served and over 60% growth in students served. Anticipating these trends to continue and accelerate, the company has invested heavily in hiring and in its Technology Service Enablement Suite. These resources ensure that students and families get the services they need and deserve, and school districts and drivers get onboarded and on the road faster.

Ready for the New School Year

Preparations for the upcoming school year include:  

  • Accelerated Driver Recruitment: Added and rigorously vetted more than 1,700 new drivers during the last school year and throughout summer months to ensure transportation needs are met. The company also enhanced its proprietary Provider Portal to enable service providers to submit documentation quickly and easily for compliance and eligibility. 
  • Streamlined District Onboarding & Management: Improved its District Portal to make the onboarding and management of transportation quicker and more efficient for districts. This includes a streamlined trip tracker, upgraded transportation request form, and smart-routing technology.
  • Enhanced Support Staffing: Increased their dedicated dispatch support to provide enhanced contact and personal services that deliver smoother, more efficient experiences for students, schools, and parents.
  • Improved Parent/Guardian Communications: Incorporated app notifications regarding trip and/or driver changes to its real-time trip tracking app for parents and guardians. Parents/guardians also will receive text messages to make sure they never miss important information about their child’s transportation. 

“In Maryland, we have seen a surging demand for alternative transportation needs among our students, particularly those that are most vulnerable,” said Leon Langley, Maryland pupil transportation industry leader, former Maryland state transportation director, and former National Association for Pupil Transportation president. “With recent changes in the state’s approach to alternative transportation, we are pleased to forge relationships with experienced, trusted and compassionate organizations like EverDriven to help us meet the intensifying needs of the families and students we serve.”

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