How do you define good school bus service? If you ask parents or students, you may hear about pickup times, long rides and time spent waiting at school for class to start or the evening bus to arrive. With tightening budgets, school officials are more focused than ever on efficiency, but everyone wants the best level of service possible.
Staff at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute worked with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and North Carolina State University's Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) to provide concrete data on the service level of pupil transportation in the state. Released annually since 2006, the Transportation Service Indicators Report provides a host of state and district level data on school bus operations including the average student ride time, and the earliest morning pickup.
Data for this report come from the Transportation Information Management System (TIMS). TIMS provided a tool that all North Carolina public school districts use to increase efficiency by optimizing school bus routes, stop locations and school bell times. The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute coordinates the compilation of TIMS data for the annual service indicator report. The data in this report constitutes one of the best sources of pupil transportation service data available in the country.
Rob Hamby was the director for TIMS.