The ongoing school bus driver shortage remains a problem for 92% of respondents to a new survey, with school operations indicating that it affects not just the number of bus routes and changes to school schedules, but also burdens bus routes with heavy loads.
The information, contained in HopSkipDrive's State of School Transportation 2023 report, offers a glimpse at the challenges and opportunities school districts now encounter when providing transportation services for students. HopSkipDrive is a provider of supplemental school transportation solutions for families, school districts, and government agencies.
"This report should be an urgent wake-up call for all stakeholders in education," said Joanna McFarland, CEO and co-founder of HopSkipDrive. "It sheds light on school transportation not merely as a logistical matter, but as a fundamental part of student success, equity, and well-being. The data underscores the immediate need for more accessible, reliable, and flexible school transportation solutions. At HopSkipDrive, we're committed to building a modern transportation system that's not only safe, equitable, and efficient, but also fully equipped to provide children with the opportunities they richly deserve both during and beyond school hours."
Other findings in the report included:
- More than half (52%) of school district leaders and transportation staff responding to the survey see a clear link between reliable transportation and educational equity.
- Chronic absenteeism, reported as a significant issue by 67% of districts in the survey, is connected to transportation access. Accessible, dependable transport potentially can be a game changer for improving student attendance.
- Most parents (72%) surveyed would engage children in extracurricular activities or tutoring if more transportation operations were provided, and 78% indicated that they wanted their districts to offer more alternatives.