|Latest School Bus Ridership Figures Take Shape|
|Written by Ryan Gray|
|Wednesday, 23 December 2009 11:48|
According to recent data, school bus transportation remains the single most utilized mode of transportation to and from school for the nation’s K-12 students.
A survey of state directors of pupil transportation services that is published in the upcoming 2010 STN Buyer’s Guide shows that student ridership of the yellow bus remains at about 24 million students one-way each school day. That figure is a little less than half of the more than 49 million pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade students on record during the 2007-2008 school year, according to the National Center on Education Statistics.
Based on state reporting to STN, national student enrollment could be a bit higher at about 52 million. Still, it could be concluded that school buses transport about 46- to 49 percent of all students nationwide, not to mention others who ride school buses during the school day for field trips.
Earlier this month, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership said in a report on successful student biking and walking programs that such trips account for 14 percent of all school commutes. Also this month, the American Public Transportation Association released a survey of transit agencies across the nation the marked a 3.8 percent decrease in passengers over the first nine months of the year as a result of high unemployment and decreased fuel prices.
APTA spokesperson Virginia Miller said there is no specific data on student ridership increase or decreases so far in 2009, but she did point to a rider demographic survey conducted by APTA in 2007 that updated previous data on the percentage of transit riders who utilize public buses and subways to specifically get to and from school. Nearly 11 percent of the approximately 4 million transit passengers each year are elementary, secondary or college students, the study shows. Miller added that transit reporting lumps all students together and does not reflect how many students fall into each category.
One could then surmise that a third of the U.S. student population are driven to and from school by parents, friends or drive themselves. The National Household Surveys Program says that 1.5 million students, 2.9 percent of national enrollment, were home schooled in 2007.
Editor’s note — The 2010 STN Buyer’s Guide comes out around mid- January. The print version contains an error in the student ridership section as it misstates the total number of school bus riders due to a spreadsheet error.
|Last Updated on Friday, 12 March 2010 16:45|