Extracurricular activities like field trips and athletics offer some of the most powerful learning opportunities for students, but they are also the first trips to be cut when school resources become sparse.
Reports from schools across the country show that is exactly what is happening now as districts grapple with a nationwide shortage of school bus drivers. Nearly 90% of respondents to a survey by HopSkipDrive about school transportation reported that the bus driver shortage has constrained their school transportation operations. And nearly 30% of all respondents labeled those constraints as “severe.”
Friday Night Lights at some Texas schools have been dimmed as schools are unable to find enough drivers to transport players, cheerleaders and marching bands to away football games. Teachers at other schools face frustration and disappointment as their requests for field trips – even the ones that have been integrated into their curriculum for decades – are no longer approved.
In some rural communities, the bus driver shortage has become so severe that districts have been forced to close their doors and shift to e-learning. In other areas, members of the National Guard or building principals are stepping up to fill in on routes.
Although field trips and athletic events must take a backseat to school attendance, students are missing out on valuable hands-on learning opportunities when extracurricular trips are cut. Studies show that field trips enhance critical thinking skills, increase engagement in learning, and improve retention of information. Similarly, participation in athletics teaches teamwork, leadership, and resilience, while promoting physical health and mental well-being.
Fortunately, there is another solution for school districts struggling to find enough drivers to transport students to activities: Charter buses. While charter bus operators are also struggling to find enough drivers to meet demand, the private sector has more flexibility in funding and hiring than public school districts and city transit agencies.
CharterUP’s real-time marketplace offers a convenient and transparent alternative transportation option for schools across the country. As schools continue to face transportation challenges, charter buses provide a way for them to maintain their extracurricular programs and ensure that students have access to critical learning opportunities outside of the classroom.
Here are three benefits of partnering with CharterUP for student transportation.
Schools are often required to work around a bus driver’s morning and afternoon routes to schedule their trips, but CharterUP offers fully customizable itineraries that allow schools to plan field trips or sporting events without compromising the quality of the experience. This flexibility in scheduling is crucial for schools to keep up with their extracurricular activities and provide meaningful opportunities for their students.
CharterUP’s 24/7 reservation team is also available to assist schools with the logistical details of the trip so teachers and coaches can focus on their students.
“We needed 3 buses to move school kids for a weekend series of tournaments for our basketball, soccer and football teams. The headcount was about 120 with supervisors and coaches. CharterUP made the headaches that usually come with booking a breeze. They helped me organize the itinerary and alerted me of all the small issues that might come with booking an event like this.
Before the start of the weekend, I received an email and a call from CharterUP to ensure everything would be good. The event was a success! Can’t be more grateful to this company!”
CharterUP was built on the belief that transparency is key in providing a trustworthy and reliable transportation option for schools. The platform provides teachers and coaches full visibility into vehicle details, pricing, reviews and safety records, so that they can confidently book charter buses for their field trips or sporting events with peace of mind. With access to operator profiles and reviews from previous customers, teachers and coaches can make informed decisions about student transportation.
“I was able to view accident history, safety records, and the number / quality of the company’s buses all through the website. It’s like a one stop shop for buses. I will use them again in the future. The bus industry really needed this!”
CharterUP’s virtual fleet includes more than 4,000 premium vehicles with amenities including Wi-Fi, restrooms, air conditioning, and comfortable seating options, which can make long trips more enjoyable for students. This is especially important for athletic teams that may have to travel long distances for competitions.
Additionally, charter buses offer more convenient storage options for athletic equipment or backpacks, leaving more room for students onboard.
“The bus was clean, comfortable and was equipped with what we needed to make our students’ trip a success. The next time we need a charter company your company will be the FIRST one we call.”
With a focus on flexibility, transparency and comfort, charter buses can help schools overcome transportation challenges and provide students with meaningful extracurricular activities that contribute to their overall educational success.
Don’t let transportation challenges hold your school back from providing valuable extracurricular activities for your students. Find a ride for your field trip or sporting event in just 60 seconds with CharterUP and ensure students can still enjoy enriching experiences and lifelong memories.