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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Review of the Potential for Privatizing Student Transportation, Report No. 97-44, February 1998
Full report in PDF format

  • Nationwide, many school districts use private bus contractors. However, only 2 of Florida's 67 school districts regularly contract with private providers for bus service.
  • Most of the districts we contacted in other states reported positive results from privatizing. These districts indicated that by contracting with private bus firms, they were able to reduce student transportation costs and/or improve service quality.
  • The two Florida school districts using privatized bus services are satisfied with the services they are receiving.
  • Numerous factors, such as different district demographics, service levels, and inconsistent cost accounting procedures, make it difficult to accurately compare costs between school districts.
  • Privatization of student transportation poses both advantages and disadvantages. If it is properly structured, privatization could reduce costs and/or improve service quality for some Florida school districts.
  • Whether or not districts choose to privatize student transportation, there are steps they can take to reduce their transportation costs. We estimate these steps could save over $13┬ámillion per year.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Student Transportation

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 99-18 Progress Report: Review of the Potential for Privatizing Student Transportation, published in December 1999.
  • Report No. 98-84 Best Financial Management Practice Review Polk County School District, published in June 1999.
  • Report No. 98-19 Best Financial Management Practice Review Manatee County School District, published in October 1998.
  • Privatization

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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