Frequently Asked Questions


What is school bus contracting? 

  • Private school bus contractors work with school districts and local officials to outsource pupil transportation and coordinate a safe, cost effective, and efficient transportation management contract.  These contracts are individualized to the needs of the school or school district and the services of the private company.

What is the National School Transportation Association? 

  • NSTA was established in 1964 to coordinate regulatory and legislative efforts on behalf of the private school bus industry and recognize outstanding service among contractors across the United States and Canada.  Members are comprised of school bus contractors, vendors, suppliers, and manufacturers to promote contracting and its cost saving benefits to school districts.   

How large is the school bus contracting industry? 

  • The school bus industry is comprised of 480,000 school buses transporting 26 Million students in rural and urban cities across the country.  Private school bus contractors represent 1/3 of the nation’s fleet. 

Where is contracting most beneficial? 

  • School bus contracting benefits schools and school districts nationwide.  Outsourcing transportation redirects attention and financial resources back into the schools that were overburdened by the expense and administrative commitment of providing their own student transportation. 

How well trained are the drivers? 

  • Drivers of a private school bus contractor must meet the same licensing requirements as public operated school bus drivers.  Private contractors typically exceed the minimum training requirement and promote additional training programs throughout their operations. 

How is the equipment maintained? 

  • Private school bus companies are more proactive on fleet replacement and typically operate a younger fleet than district run operations.  They employ drivers, dispatchers, technicians, and support staff to keep their operations efficient. 



The American School Bus Council 

The United States Department of Transportation 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 

NHTSA School Bus Safety Program 

National Transportation Safety Board

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 

Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee

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