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State of Maine Department of Education

Pupil Transportation Statistics

School year 2000 - 2001

The enclosed statistics are being made available by the Department of Education. These statistics represent the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001 and include a comparison of fiscal years 2000 and 2001 with the most current national statistics.

The state of Maine’s school bus transportation program is committed to providing safe and efficient transportation for Maine’s school children. The Department of Education works with other agencies and groups (including the Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, and the Maine Association for Pupil Transportation) to educate fleet supervisors, school bus drivers, mechanics, students, and other motorists about safe practices and procedures for pupil transportation. These safety measures, when applied, greatly reduce the risk of school bus-related crashes occurring, while improving the efficiency of the transportation services provided.

According to the National School Bus Information Council, the yellow school bus is the safest form of highway transportation in the United States. Fatal crashes involving occupants of these vehicles are rare events. Nationally, approximately 450,000 public school buses will travel an estimated 4.3 billion miles to transport 24 million children to and from schools and school-related activities each year.

Every year, across the nation, more than 600 school-aged children are killed while being transported in passenger cars, non-conforming vans, or other private vehicles during school hours. In comparison, school bus passenger fatalities average less than 10 per year nationwide. Furthermore, the school bus passenger fatalities typically involve extreme and severe circumstances. Crash simulation tests conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that many of the 600+ fatalities in non-school bus vehicles could possibly have been avoided if the children involved had been riding in a school bus. More than 40% of all children attending primary and secondary schools in the United States travel to and from school in a vehicle that is not a school bus. In Maine, only 15% of our children attending public schools travel to and from school in non- school bus vehicles.

National Highway Statistics show that between1989 and 1999, only 0.3 percent of all fatal traffic crashes have involved a school bus (1,298 out of 420,000 crashes).

8 Nationally, in the past 10 years, there has been an average of 9 school bus occupant fatalities each year.

  • Nationally, in the past 10 years, there has been an average of 23 school bus-related pedestrian fatalities each year.
  • Nationally, in the past 10 years, there have been approximately 600 school age children killed each year traveling in passenger cars, or other non-school bus vehicles during school hours. Nationally, an average of 55% of our students travel to and from school in a school bus.

While school buses maintain a safety record that is unequaled in motor vehicle transportation the occasional school bus-related fatality continues to occur. We are committed in our efforts to continuously improve school bus safety so that even rare tragedies are prevented.

The Department is pleased to provide the following fiscal year 2001 statewide school transportation statistics:

 

Comparison: FY 00 to FY 01 Public School Pupil Transportation Statistics — STATE OF MAINE

2000

National

2001 1999 Stats

Expenditures For School Operations

$67,066,803

$71,675,710

$11.7 Billion+

Capital Expenditures For School Bus Purchases (not including lease-purchase)

$5,523,327

$5,336,317

$700 Million+

Miles Traveled

32,417,593

33,582,119

4.3 Billion

Average Cost Per Mile

$2.07

$2.13

$3.21

Average Number of Children Transported Daily-Public/Private

179,102

175,345

24 Billion

Average Operating Cost Per Student

$374.46

$408.69

$500.00

Publicly Owned School Buses

2050

2081

450,000

Public & Private

Privately Owned School Buses

587

656

Transportation costs for to and from school operations increased 6.9 percent from FY 2000 to FY 2001 while number of pupils transported increased 2.1% and miles traveled increased 3.6%. This increase was a direct result of increases in the following cost categories: salaries, wages and benefits; fuel and other energy; and lease expenses for buses. The increase in lease expense for buses is driven by district-level decisions to replace buses that are beyond their economic life but which have been denied approval for cash or note subsidy due to the state approval limit of $5 million per year. The number of both private (contract) and publicly owned buses continues to increase slightly as non-conforming vans are replaced by school bus rated vehicles.

Notes:

(1) Average Number of Children Transported Daily: the average of all pupils transported daily by SAU’s to public and private schools.

(2) Expenditures for Pupil Transportation Operations: the total annual operating expenditures less revenues and extracurricular transportation.

(3) Capital Expenditures for School Bus Purchases includes 100% local plus State/Local shared costs. This line item does not include lease or lease to purchase costs. The lease and lease to purchase expenses are included in Expenditures for Pupil Transportation Operations cost category.