Educational Policy Factors
Several aspects of federal, state and local educational policy can influence school transportation costs. Each state has their own educational funding structure and reimbursement criteria to determine which students qualify for publicly subsidized school busing. In addition, school enrollment boundaries influence the structure, distance and operational costs of school bus networks. Finally, equitable access to education, while vital to a civil society, can also increase school transportation costs via increased distances due to bused integration and accommodation of students with diverse special needs. Together, these policies and legal considerations convey the landscape in which school transportation planners operate in an attempt to optimize transportation route efficiency and minimize capital and operational costs.