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Transportation

Question:
What percentage of students are transported at public expense and how much does the public spend on transportation on a per-pupil basis?

Response:

The expenditure for public school student transportation was $982 per student transported in 2016–17 (in unadjusted dollars).

Students transported at public expense and current expenditures for transportation: Selected years, 1980–81 to 2016–17
School year Students transported at public expense (number) Students transported at public expense (percent of total) Expenditures for transportation (in thousands)1
[In unadjusted dollars]
Average expenditure per student transported
[In unadjusted dollars]
Expenditures for transportation (in thousands)1
[In constant 2018–19 dollars]
Average expenditure per student transported
[In constant 2018–19 dollars]
1980–81 22,272,000 59.1 $4,408,000 $198 $12,887,796 $579
1990–91 22,000,000 57.3 8,678,954 394 16,413,909 746
1999–2000 24,951,000 57.0 13,007,625 521 19,459,958 780
2000–01 24,471,000 55.5 14,052,654 574 20,326,957 831
2001–02 24,529,000 55.0 14,799,365 603 21,034,646 858
2002–03 24,621,000 54.7 15,648,821 636 21,763,709 884
2003–04 25,159,000 55.5 16,348,784 650 22,250,412 884
2004–05 25,318,000 55.5 17,459,659 690 23,068,114 911
2005–06 25,252,000 55.0 18,850,234 746 23,991,723 950
2006–07 25,285,000 54.8 19,979,068 790 24,787,441 980
2007–08 25,221,000 54.6 21,536,978 854 25,765,592 1,022
2008–09 21,679,876 860 25,579,381 1,015
2009–10 21,819,304 870 25,497,181 1,017
2010–11 22,370,807 888 25,627,059 1,018
2011–12 22,926,700 905 25,516,223 1,007
2012–13 23,237,941 914 25,439,273 1,001
2013–14 23,845,036 933 25,702,376 1,005
2014–15 23,961,692 932 25,641,401 998
2015–16 24,325,727 943 25,856,594 1,002
2016–17 25,350,286 982 26,458,922 1,025

— Not available.
1 Excludes capital outlay for all years except 1980–81.
NOTE: The number of students transported and the average expenditure per student transported were estimated based on data in January issues of School Bus Fleet for 1980–81 to 2000–01, and for 2007–08 and later years. Estimates for the number of students transported and the average expenditure per student transported for 2001–02 through 2006–07 were based on data reported by School Transportation News. Unadjusted (or “current”) dollars have not been adjusted to compensate for inflation. Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index, prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Digest of Education Statistics, 2019 (NCES 2021-009), Table 236.90.