Simply put, contracting is the act of partnering with a company to manage key services. The nature of these relationships has evolved over the years, moving from a supplier mentality to a partnership focus. It's these partnerships that enable school districts to focus on their core mission of education. Along with transportation services, many school districts also contract for food and facility management services.
Why Contract Student Transportation Services?
Student transportation is highly complex and critical to a school district’s fundamental operation. Private contractors whose primary business is student transportation have a single focus: to provide school bus service in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible while maintaining the highest levels of safety and reliable service.
When contracting student transportation services, school districts typically seek access to three vital capabilities:
- A local operating team that are skilled in and truly passionate about the safe, reliable transport of school children.
- A deep inventory of transportation solutions that includes proven expertise and dedicated capital for fleet management and maintenance, technology innovation and strategies for the most cost-effective utilization of resources such as vehicles, fuel and spare parts.
- A strong customer orientation and culture that enables a tailored approach and new ways of thinking about safety, service delivery and efficiency.
Types of Transportation Solutions
Contracting services are available in numerous combinations and are tailored to meet your district’s specific goals.
Full Turnkey Solutions:
The partner manages all facets of the district’s transportation operation.
The partner oversees certain areas of the operation while the district continues to operate other elements.
The district initially contracts for a limited service (such as personnel management and fleet maintenance), gradually taking on additional services until the contract becomes a full turnkey solution.
When to Consider Contracting
If one or more of the following statements rings true, it might be time to consider contracting your student transportation services.
- You need to reduce and better control transportation costs.
- You want to gain access to advanced transportation capabilities.
- You want to free up limited administrative resources to focus on core educational issues.
- Your student population has fluctuated significantly and your existing system is unable to support the changes.
- Your fleet is aging or buses need to be replaced.
- You are required to purchase, install, train and maintain new equipment to stay compliant with new regulations.
- You want to improve training and development for your transportation staff.
- Your experienced transportation personnel are retiring or moving out of your operation.