The Implications of Schooling Systems and School Transport Best Practice for Home-to-School Transport Costs: An Evidence-Based Study of U.K. and U.S. Experience

Perhaps surprisingly, given geographical conditions and demographic patterns in the USA, average transport to school unit costs per pupil in the United States compare favorably with those in the United Kingdom and in particular Northern Ireland. Moreover eligibility rates for pupils receiving home to school transport assistance are typically higher than in the UK. It is hypothesized that, by comparing school transport eligibility rates in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland, it should be possible to determine whether the high rates of eligibility and transport costs found in Northern Ireland were due to the rural nature of the area as often claimed or are due to the segregated and selective nature of schooling there. A statistical analysis undertaken in this paper indicates that selective and segregated schooling in Northern Ireland increases significantly the numbers of pupils eligible for free school transport. School transport in Northern Ireland costs over £57 million per year. It was estimated that if Northern Ireland had similar levels of eligibility to Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, savings of up to £16 million could be made. Although this review is primarily focused upon school transport in the UK and in particular Northern Ireland, comparisons with the USA have been undertaken with a view to informing a wider audience of the implications of different arrangements for the funding and supply of school transport. The paper offers some observations on the factors, which might explain the relative efficiency of the US school transport system.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044242
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-3328
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 8:00PM