Top 8 School Bus Rental Companies


Outsourcing transportation of students in a school has been successful in majority of the cases, where the authorities have partnered with private bus rental companies.

The transportation contract has stipulations under which the contractors work. This allows the authorities to focus more on the core function of education.

Schools usually engage private bus rentals when the school bus fleet is aged and there are no funds available for bus upgrades, increased transportation costs, and administrative headaches.

All these problems can be solved by outsourcing the school bus service. Private bus contractors have the singular aim of providing this service in the most cost-effective and efficient manner while maintaining the highest levels of safety and reliability. Some of the best-known school bus rental companies are listed below.

Read Also: Top 10 School Bus Companies

1. First Student, Ohio

First student ensures that students have a safe and reliable transport system to and from school. They are the leading school bus provider in the USA. With over 50000 employees and over 44000 school buses, they have transport contracts with over 1100 school districts.

Their Specialities

  • They provide end-to-end school bus transport solutions and route optimization advice
  • The staff and drivers are locally hired from among the familiar communities with a view to transporting the students safely
  • They have implemented technologies and innovations to improve operating performance, driver output and safety
  • They follow stringent maintenance programs to keep their fleet in a well-maintained condition
  • They have over 100 years of expertise in transportation

2. Royal Coach Tours, California

This company provides School Pupil Activity Bus services in California. This includes school-sponsored events such as Proms, Field trips, Sports events, Grad Nites, etc.  

The buses are certified to transport children during school-sanctioned events. They have the requisite charter bus certification called SPAB (School Pupil Activity Bus) and are regulated by the California Highway Patrol.

Why they are special

  • They are extensively trained in defensive driving techniques, vehicle inspections, and mechanical flaw detection.
  • They offer modern fleets with different sizes of coaches, configurations and seating capacities; they have 56-seater, 47-seater, and 36-seater coaches
  • They have all the safety features that are required
  • They have been in business for about 60 years
  • Their buses are equipped with event data recorders, tire monitoring systems, and fire-fighting systems.

3. StorerCoachways, California

This company started off in the year 1952 when the need for transporting students with special needs increased. This company was founded by Walter and Gladys Storer after they submitted a bid and volunteered to transport 13 handicapped children from their homes to the school. 

After the contract that was in force for one year, Storer Transportation Services was contracted to carry mentally retarded children to the Prescott School. Soon children with hearing and visual disabilities started using this service.

This company specialized in the door-to-door transport of these handicapped students. The original station wagons and stretch limousines that served as buses were painted school bus yellow and fitted with flashing lights. Some of the later vans of STS had electric lifts installed onto the rear side of the van.

Why they stand out

  • They have a modern fleet of motorcoaches.
  • They offer different sizes of coaches, configurations and seating capacities; they have 54-seater, 45-seater, and 21-seater and 11-seater coaches.
  • The coaches are embedded with the latest amenities.
  • Their rental rates are very competitive in the marketplace.

4. Transportation Charter Services, California

Transportation Charter Services (TCS) has been serving the people of Southern California with SPAB certified coaches for a long time now. The company services educational groups that are inbound in addition to local ones.

The company has been functional in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas for more than three decades now. The company’s mission has been to provide end-to-end safe, reliable and comfortable group transportation for any client.

Why choose TCS

  • The company has the highest safety rating in the charter bus industry
  • Their buses have all the amenities including luxury seating, Wi-Fi on board, and AV hook-ups.
  • The bus fleet are new (2008 model or newer)
  • The school buses can hold 54 passengers
  • The drivers are trained to be courteous and are always on time during the trip
  • The company staff is always willing for last-minute route or itinerary changes
  • The school buses are available for sports groups transfers, day trips or overnight trips from schools and ferrying students to and from campsites
  • The buses are SPAB certified
  • The buses undergo the requisite inspections by the CHP regularly (every 45 days or at the completion of 3000 miles), fully insured and licensed by the state

Read Also: 8 Types of School Buses – Understanding the Classification

5. DATTCO, Inc, Connecticut

This company operates over 1000 school buses in Rhode Island and Connecticut every single day.The company is family owned and has been providing service for over six decades. DATTCO provides charter services to school groups of all sizes for different kinds of trips.

This company started providing school bus services in 1949 and now services over 30 school districts. The company currently transports over 110000 students on a daily basis during a school year.

Their Specialities

  • They have over six decades’ experience in transporting children to and from school
  • The company has a fleet size of 1350 school buses
  • Dattco is an authorized dealer for the IC brand of school buses
  • Their training & Safety department has two Master Instructors and 19 State Certified Instructors on rolls
  • They run student safety programs in schools
  • Their buses are designed to cater to special needs students
  • They are known for their high-quality driver training programs
  • The company provides an instantaneous and  unique way for parents to find their ward’s route information
  • The company has 60 certified mechanics and 8 road service vehicles (fully-equipped)
  • DATTCO is affiliated to the Association of Boards of Education, State School Transportation Association and many more organizations connected to the administration of schools

6. The Free Enterprise System, Indiana

The company was started in the year 1976 as a family-owned business and they started serving the US Postal Service by hauling mail for them. They are still providing this service.

Maintaining consistent and superior levels of service they have been able to reach very high levels of reputation. They provide a gamut of services including school trips. They provide safe and premium transportation for school groups on their different trips.

Why Choose Free Enterprise

  • They have a diverse fleet and different coach options that can accommodate student groups of any size
  • Their coaches feature disc brakes, no tires that are recapped, automatic slack adjusters, reflective decals, LED lights, ABS brake systems, etc., among others
  • Their coach driver are chosen after a rigorous background check and are trained frequently
  • The coach drivers are subject to random drug screening
  • The drivers are regularly trained in customer service aspects

7. Northfield Lines, Minnesota

Benjamin Bus has been ferrying schoolchildren in Minnesota for many years now. Truly caring about the children they transport, they have established a reputation for themselves.

They work in close contact with the school district administration to plan their bus stops and bus routes. Their services include daily student transportation, special needs students’ transportation, and field trips for students, summer school and camp trips.

They are known for the expert training they provide to school bus drivers. In addition to behind-the-wheel training, they provide training manuals and videos to the drivers.

The new drivers are even subjected to a ride-along evaluation by a driver with experience. They have to attend regular safety meetings. The drivers have to do a pre-trip safety check before any bus departure.

Why they stand out

  • They are experts in routing and scheduling
  • They adhere to strict fleet preventive maintenance schedules with first-rate facilities and equipment
  • They conduct numerous school bus safety programs for school children and the school authorities
  • They subject their drivers to random drug testing procedures

8. Arrow Stage Lines, Nebraska

Started in the year 1928, this company provides many services including school bus rentals. This bus rental company offers school bus transportation for students in select markets such as Omaha and Lincoln in Nebraska.

With a high safety record, the bus service providers are known for their on-time record. Their buses are known to travel long distances without any kind of mechanical disruption.

With a high safety record, the bus service providers are known for their on-time record. Their buses are known to travel long distances without any kind of mechanical disruption.

Their specialities

They employ top drivers and have a nationwide network operating in many states. They follow an elaborate preventive maintenance system. Their drivers are well trained in safety procedures, customer service and operational procedures.

They are expected to be physically fit from the fitness tests that held regularly. The company is known to have invested millions of dollars on its buses to keep customers safe.

Read Also: Buying a School Bus – 10 Important Points You Should Know

Wrap Up

School districts are under great pressure to deliver safety to the students and to give them a good quality education experience. Contracting student transportation helps the school districts to make substantial savings which they can redirect to making education better and therefore more sought after.

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