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Numbers to Know for Improving School Bus Fleet Efficiency

January 28, 2017


The American School Bus Council estimates that school buses in the U.S. account for nearly 6,000,000,000 miles traveled each year. Each school bus transports an average of 54 kids a day, saving the American public almost $11,000,000,000 a year in fuel costs alone.


But school buses aren’t free.


In fact, transportation management accounts for the single biggest expenditure among American school districts.Here are some important numbers to know about how much school buses actually cost schools.

  • The average school bus costs over $100,000 to purchase and has a lifespan of just over 12 years

  • Each school bus route costs a school district an average of $37,000 a year to operate

  • Districts spend an average of just over $50,000 a year to maintain their school bus fleets


Reducing the Bus Burden on Schools

What can be done to lessen some of the financial strain school bus transportation puts on school districts? There are a few ways school buses can be made more efficient, and the real solution lies in technology.


Reduce Idle Time:

Idle time, the time a school bus spends running but not moving, is costly. The average school district wastes well over $64,000 per year on idling time for a 100-bus fleet…what can be done? School bus tracking technology that better connects buses to students is the answer. UbicaBus alerts parents and kids when their bus is arriving so they can be ready and waiting to hop on, saving valuable minutes of idling time.


Better Route Planning: 

Inefficient routing is a plague to the American school bus system. The average school bus covers over 12,000 miles a year; saving just 2,000 of those miles per year could reduce fuel costs by over $1,100 for each bus alone, not to mention reduce its maintenance and extend its lifespan.  Although there are dozens of technological route planning solutions, most aren’t able to be adjusted throughout the year (as students move or change schools) and/or can’t easily be imported into a format the driver can actually utilize. The best school bus routing technology involves integration with tracking software, an easy-to-use interface, and intuitive optimization.


Fleet Management and Maintenance: Operation costs of school buses are incredibly expensive. For large districts, just staying on top of required maintenance for buses gathering varied mileage can present a logistical nightmare. Labor expenses alone for maintenance on each bus break down to over $1,100 per year. Improvements in fleet tracking software are creating better workflows for transportation managers and can even be set to alert relevant parties when it’s time to change the oil, rotate the tires, or have an inspection. 


School bus transportation doesn’t have to be so expensive.

Technology is available to make your bus fleet smarter, safer, and more efficient. Contact the team at UbicaBus today to find out how much money you could save by implementing simple changes in your bus operations.

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