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16 Other 0.00% SAFETY Mexico 0.03% This section reports fatality, injury, and crash statistics for Canada 0.78% West 12% crashes involving school buses. While statistics derived from Northeast 13% the MCMIS database do not provide complete coverage for significant numbers of intrastate motor carriers, the statistics from NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) are regarded as true population totals, and statistics from the South 37% Midwest 38% National Automotive Sampling System's General Estimates System (GES), which reports crashes, are estimated for the entire vehicle population based on a representative national sample. Because NSTA estimates that about one-third of school buses are operated by school bus contractors, the safety Note: A total of 3,067 firms is represented. This chart excludes 82 firms with equal-sized school bus and motorcoach operations, 595 statistics for the entire school bus population may be approx- firms with equal-sized school bus and trucking operations, and 2,157 imately three times as large as the statistics for contractors bus firms that did not specify the type of vehicles operated. alone. In addition, the safety statistics include non-school Source: FMCSA MCMIS, 2000. buses used as school buses, which may overcount the fatali- Figure 17. Distribution of school bus firms by ties, injuries, and crashes involving school buses operated by geographic region, 2000. school bus contractors. Fatality and injury data include both occupants and non- occupants; occupant fatalities have been separated into another bus contractor firms, the geographic distribution is much more column. As shown in Table 15 and Figures 18, 19, and 20, the balanced between regions. number of fatalities and injuries has remained roughly con- stant over the past decade, while the number of crashes has increased. Further analysis of GES data from the source files Carriers by Segment is necessary to obtain injuries and crash estimates for all years shown in the table. School buses can be classified according to whether they Although mileage statistics are not consistently available, belong to fleets operated by school districts or to fleets oper- the relatively constant number of fatalities and injuries over this ated by school bus contractor firms. Some contractors may period supports a decreasing fatality and injury rate. As a gen- specialize in subsegments of the industry; for example, pub- eral indicator of vehicle-miles traveled, the NSTA reports that school buses travel approximately 4.5 billion miles annually. lic school students, private school students, and special needs students. Although no data are available to estimate the num- ber of firms offering such services, sources of revenue from ECONOMY AND FINANCES these subsegments are reported later in this section. With the exception of special needs students that require different This section provides economic and financial information school bus equipment, many school bus firms contract with on the school bus contractor industry, including sources of both public school districts and private school organizations. revenues, factors affecting profitability, driver compensation, TABLE 15 School bus-involved fatalities, injuries, and crashes, 1991 to 2002 Year Fatalities Occupant Fatalities Injuries Crashes 1991 134 17 Further analysis required 22,866 1992 124 10 Further analysis required 21,436 1993 141 13 Further analysis required 27,042 1994 107 4 Further analysis required 23,802 1995 123 13 Further analysis required 28,805 1996 136 10 15,000 26,699 1997 131 10 19,000 28,099 1998 128 6 17,000 27,371 1999 167 10 18,000 29,756 2000 147 21 20,000 28,065 2001 141 18 13,000 Further analysis required 2002 127 3 18,000 Further analysis required Note: Includes district-operated and contractor-operated school buses. Includes non-school buses used as school buses. Approximately one-third of school buses are operated by school bus contractors. Source: NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts; NHTSA, Report to Congress: School Bus Safety Crashworthiness Research, 2002.
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17 Fatalities 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Year Note: Includes district-operated and contractor-operated school buses. Includes non-school buses used as school buses. Approximately one-third of school buses are operated by school bus contractors. Sources: NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts; NHTSA, Report to Congress: School Bus Safety Crashworthiness Research, 2002. Figure 18. Fatalities in school bus-involved crashes, 1991 to 2002. full-time utilization, trends in school bus sales, trends in rev- Factors Affecting Profitability enue, trends in passengers, trends in mileage, and distribution of passengers within the industry. NSTA's The ABC's of School Busing and School Bus Fleet's "2001 Annual Contractor Survey" cite the following factors as current issues affecting the profitability of the school Sources of Revenue bus contractor industry: Figure 21 shows the sources of operating revenue for the school bus contractor industry, both interstate and intrastate. · Driver shortages; Public school contracts are by far the largest source, consti- · Rising insurance premiums and fuel costs; tuting 89 percent of total industry revenue. Approximately · Student management practices; 4 percent of operating revenue is from charter bus service, · Support (or lack of support) from parents and adminis- both interurban and local. "Other" sources of operating rev- trators; enue include advertising, freight service, limousine service, · School district budgetary limitations; and employee bus service. · Growing number of state and federal mandates; and Injuries 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Year Note: Includes district-operated and contractor-operated school buses. Includes non-school buses used as school buses. Approximately one-third of school buses are operated by school bus contractors. Source: NHTSA, Traffic Safety Facts; NHTSA, Report to Congress: School Bus Safety Crashworthiness Research, 2002. Figure 19. Injuries in school bus-involved crashes, 1996 to 2002.
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18 Crashes 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Year Note: Includes district-operated and contractor-operated school buses. Includes non-school buses used as school buses. Approximately one-third of school buses are operated by school bus contractors. Source: NHTSA, A Report to Congress: School Bus Safety Crashworthiness Research, 2002. Figure 20. School bus-involved crashes, 1991 to 2000. · School district preferences based on state laws, age of · Have no criminal record involving drunk driving, drug district fleet, desire to outsource support services, and use, or hit-and-run driving; other factors. · Speak English well enough to read road signs; · Pass an FMCSA written exam; · Be even-tempered and emotionally stable; and · Be aware of the school system's rules of discipline and Driver Qualifications for Employment conduct. The basic qualifications for employment as a school bus driver are as follows: Driver Compensation · Obtain a Commercial Driver's License; Table 16 shows driver compensation at school bus con- · Pass a physical examination every two years (if trans- tractor firms by fleet size, based on School Bus Fleet's "2003 porting passengers across state lines); Contractor Survey," which reported average wages from 176 · Be 21 years of age (if transporting passengers across state school bus contractor firms. According to the survey, drivers lines); earn an average of $12.57 per hour, but drivers at the largest · Submit to random drug and alcohol testing; companies earn $0.57 more per hour ($12.98) than drivers at Other -- 2% Special Needs -- 2% Interurban Charter Bus -- 1% Local Charter Bus -- 3% Private/Parochial School -- 3% Special Needs -- 89% Source: Census Bureau, 1997 Economic Census. Figure 21. School bus contractor industry sources of revenue, 1997.
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19 TABLE 16 Driver compensation at school bus Driver Duties contractor firms, by fleet size, 2003 Fleet Size Average Wage The duties of a school bus driver typically include, but are 500+ $12.98 not limited to, the following: 100-499 $12.93 25-99 $12.52 <24 $12.41 · Inspect the bus before leaving the garage or terminal; ALL $12.57 · Be alert when driving in order to prevent crashes; Source: School Bus Fleet magazine, "2003 Contractor Survey." · Exercise particular caution when children are getting on and off the bus; · Maintain order on the bus; the smallest companies ($12.41). The Bureau of Labor Sta- · Clean up the interior of the bus; and tistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, 20042005 Edition · Prepare weekly reports on the number of students, trips, reports a median hourly wage of $10.77 in 2002. However, work hours, miles, and fuel consumption. the Handbook includes drivers working for school districts as well as drivers working for school bus contractors. Driver Regulations Driver Work Schedules School bus drivers are subject to a number of FMCSA reg- ulations. These include but are not limited to the following: School bus drivers may work 8 to 10 hours per day and 40 to 50 hours per week. They may drive seven to nine hours per · Hours-of-service (HOS) regulations--The new HOS day. Their daily schedule is consistent, driving approximately regulations that went into effect in January 2004 do not three to four hours in the morning, possibly two hours during the midday, and three to four hours in the afternoon. The reg- apply to school bus drivers. Old HOS regulations, those ular work schedule is consistent throughout the school year. in effect on October 1, 2002, apply to employees of pri- Drivers may take students on field trips, which will require vate operators, but not of government-owned operators driving up to 10 hours and working up to 15 hours in any one (i.e., public school districts). The old HOS regulations day. Field trips are more likely to occur in the spring, but may stipulate that a school bus driver may not drive: occur at any time throughout the school year. Quality of rest More than 10 hours, following 8 hours off duty; is consistent; it is almost always obtained at home, except After 15 hours on duty, following 8 hours off during overnight field trips when it is obtained in hotel rooms. duty; and After 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. · Medical standards and physical qualifications--Apply only to employees of private operators, not of school Full-Time and Part-Time Employment districts. · Drug and alcohol testing--Applies to all drivers of Table 17 shows the average hours per week worked by school bus drivers, including both contractor and district vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 15 pas- employees. The average was 32.2 hours per week, with over sengers. half working between 26 and 40 hours per week. · Commercial Driver's Licenses--Are required of all drivers of vehicles with a seating capacity of more than 15 passengers. TABLE 17 School bus driver average working hours per week, 2001 Hours per Week Percentage of Drivers School Bus Sales 1-15 10.8% 16-20 8.5% Table 18 and Figure 22 show historical sales of school 21-25 12.1% buses by type, including sales to school districts and school 26-30 12.9% bus contractors. In 2002, a total of over 40,000 school buses 31-35 13.7% 36-40 30.2% were sold, more than half of which were Type C, or "con- 41-45 4.1% ventional" buses (those with a GVWR of more than 10,000 46-50 5.1% pounds and an engine in front of the windshield). Average 51+ 2.6% prices for new school buses range from approximately $50,000 Source: School Bus Fleet magazine, "2001 School Bus Driver Survey." to $80,000.
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20 TABLE 18 School bus sales by type and year, 1993 to 2002 Year Type A/B Type C Type D Total 1993 6,779 18,928 6,734 32,441 1994 6,779 21,005 7,321 35,045 1995 5,854 20,861 9,671 36,386 1996 5,948 22,016 9,270 37,234 1997 4,860 22,885 9,323 37,068 1998 7,560 20,913 9,264 37,937 1999 9,496 22,485 10,077 42,341 2000 9,007 23,630 10,545 43,182 2001 8,222 20,476 9,401 38,099 2002 8,790 22,686 8,602 40,078 Source: School Bus Fleet magazine, "2002 North American School Bus Sales." Vehicles Sold 50,000 45,000 40,000 35,000 Type D 30,000 25,000 Type C 20,000 Type A/B 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Year Source: School Bus Fleet magazine, 2002 North American School Bus Sales. Figure 22. School bus sales by type and year, 1993 to 2002. Trends in Revenue bus contractor industry, they do indicate the general market size and growth rate. Expenditures are reported in 2000 dol- As shown in Table 19 and Figure 23, public school districts lars and adjusted for inflation. spent over $5.0 billion on school bus transportation services in 2000, a 26 percent increase in real terms since 1991. While these numbers do not account for all revenue in the school Trends in Passengers TABLE 19 Purchased services for public school bus Table 20 shows the trends in the number of children attend- transportation, 1991 to 2000 ing public schools and the number transported by school Purchased Services bus (school districts and school bus contractors combined). School Year Ended ($ Millions, 2000) Although both numbers grew during the 1990s, the percentage 1991 4,226.162 of students transported on school buses was roughly the same 1992 4,354.965 in 2000 as it was in 1991. 1993 4,476.338 1994 4,585.510 1995 4,534.868 1996 4,653.539 1997 4,839.441 Trends in Mileage 1998 5,103.089 1999 5,321.152 Table 21 and Figure 24 show approximate trends in route 2000 5,331.349 mileage for school buses, including both district and con- Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, tractor school bus operations. The route mileage excludes Digest of Education Statistics. Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and