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Beyond the Yellow Bus: Benefits of Alternative Student Transportation

Traditional yellow school buses have long been the go-to mode of transportation for students. However, not all students can benefit from this mode of transit. Students with unique needs, foster children, and kids from vulnerable communities may require the support of alternative student transportation to get to school and back home. This blog explores alternative student transportation, its benefits and how it can be effectively utilized to enhance student mobility.

What is Alternative Student Transportation?

Alternative student transportation refers to any mode of transportation other than the traditional yellow school bus. Providers of these types of services work with school districts to ensure that students are safely transported to and from school, typically in minivans, SUVs, or sedans. Alternative student transportation does not replace school buses, but rather supplements the existing transportation options to enable the most efficient routes to and from school.

In addition, small-capacity vehicles can be equipped with additional equipment such as safety vests, buckle guards, or headphones. Minivans can be wheelchair accessible with enough room to transport a monitor or nurse along with the student (if needed). Sedans can help provide space for students who need to ride alone because of sensory or processing troubles.

With alternative student transportation, no student is left behind. This tailored approach ensures every student receives equitable access to the education they deserve.

What are the Benefits of Alternative Student Transportation?2024_EverDriven_Blog Image (2)

School Bus Icon Overcoming bus driver shortages

For almost a decade, bus driver shortages have been a significant challenge for many school districts across the United States. Alternative student transportation can help overcome this challenge by using smaller-capacity vehicles such as minivans or sedans to transport students. This approach allows school districts to work with contractors who utilize drivers with regular driver’s licenses rather than commercial driver’s licenses, making it quicker and easier to find qualified drivers. All of this while still having multiple safety measures in place such as education courses, background
checks, and drug and alcohol testing.

flexibility Icon Ensures equitable access to education

Alternative student transportation helps school districts provide equal access to education for the most vulnerable students. Providers can match transportation solutions to individual needs, enabling district leaders to bridge the gap and ensure every child can reach school safely and ready to learn. For those with special needs, this may involve accommodating mobility aids, ensuring vehicle accessibility, or a ride-along monitor.

education Icon Great flexibility and routing

Smaller vehicles can offer greater flexibility in route planning. This adaptability allows for more efficient and customized routes, optimizing travel time and ensuring that students spend less time commuting, ultimately contributing to a more time-effective educational experience.

safety Icon Enhanced safety to and from school

Ensuring safety in student transportation is of utmost importance. While traditional school buses are commonly perceived as the safest option, smaller vehicles can be equally secure when proper rules and safety measures are followed.

By implementing necessary regulations and ensuring compliance, alternative options can offer students a comfortable and reliable journey. The key lies in prioritizing safety, regardless of vehicle size, to ensure the well-being of every student. This is particularly vital for students with unique needs or those from vulnerable communities, as it enables them to travel safely to and from their intended destinations.

teamwork Icon Improved Team Productivity

The use of smaller vehicles can enhance overall team productivity. With a more agile transportation system, school districts can streamline operations and utilize their resources in the most effective way. This leads to better efficiency in managing the entire transportation program and ensuring a smoother educational experience for all.

Finding a Safe and Cost-Effective Solution

While there are challenges associated with alternative student transportation, these challenges can be overcome through partnership, communication, and the use of technology. As school districts continue to seek ways to enhance student mobility and improve access to education, alternative student transportation is a viable solution that can help achieve these goals.

There are a lot of options available when school districts are looking for a contractor to fulfill their alternative student transportation needs. EverDriven's cost-effective solution aims to help more students – especially those from vulnerable communities – get to school safely in the most efficient way possible.

Even more, school districts can utilize a cooperative contract with EverDriven through OMNIA Partners to procure alternative transportation solutions. These contracts have been competitively solicited and publicly awarded so you can be assured that they utilize the best public procurement practices, processes and procedures. By leveraging the program with EverDriven, public agencies can eliminate duplication of effort, which can save valuable time, money, and resources.

To learn more about EverDriven's solutions or get in contact with a dedicated expert, click the respective button below.



About OMNIA Partners & EverDriven

As your ally in the purchasing process, OMNIA Partners is dedicated to optimizing procurement for your organization. Your free membership provides full access to a breadth of services from EverDriven that provide school districts with alternative student transportation services. Participants of OMNIA Partners also have full access to our portfolio of value-driven contracts, spend visibility, analytics, and subject matter experts. Join thousands of members who are discovering a better way to buy and get connected with EverDriven today!