One out of four districts use contracted transportation services — 26.6% — through private busing companies and employee leasing agencies. There were three districts more than the previous year, with a total of 143 districts privatizing transportation.
Graphic 4: Transportation Service Contracting, 2005-2019
In 2019, six districts added new private transportation services and three brought the service back in-house.
Almont Community Schools hired Dean Transportation to provide school bus services after projecting they would save half a million dollars over a five-year period. Bridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools added transportation services through First Student, but they did not provide a reason for the switch. Capac Community Schools added new transportation staff through Michigan Educational Transportation Services and expect to save money from the change.
Davison Community Schools also hired METS to fill its need for bus drivers. The district does not expect savings from its new vendor, however. Brandon School District added First Student for transportation services and expects to save approximately $350,000 per year. Western School District added METS for transportation services but did not specify the motivation for doing so.
Ypsilanti Community Schools brought transportation services back in-house and expects to save money from the change. Dearborn Heights School District 7 decided it was no longer necessary to use contracted transportation services after reconfiguring its elementary schools. Schoolcraft Community Schools brought a privatized transportation employee back in-house for reasons related to its insurance.