How to Calculate School Bus Transportation Charges


If you are trying to prepare a budget, you need to take into account your school bus charges for the year. It is easiest to look at it on a per-school-bus basis. The most common expenditures include depreciation, driver wages, gas and associated fees such a license plates. Once you add these together, you have your total charges.

  • Calculate the depreciation on the school bus. This is a method to spread the expense of buying the school bus over the years you use it. Simple depreciation is the cost of the bus minus the residual value of the bus. Then divide that amount by the useful life of the bus. The residual value of the bus is how much you can sell the bus for when you are done using it. Assume you bought a bus for $40,000 and plan on using it 10 years. After 10 years, you can sell it for $5,000. The total depreciation is $40,000 minus $5,000, which is $35,000. Then, $35,000 divided by 10 years equals $3,500 in depreciation per year.

  • Estimate how many miles the bus will drive during the year. Then figure an average gas cost. In the example, assume a bus will drive 500 miles, with gas averaging $3 a gallon. The bus gets 20 miles per gallon.

  • Divide the number of miles you plan to drive by the miles per gallon of the bus. Then multiply the result by the average gas cost per gallon. In the example, 500 miles divided by 20 miles per gallon equals 25 gallons. Then, 25 gallons times $3 per gallon equals $75 in gas for the year.

  • Determine the yearly wage you pay your bus driver. In the example, assume $34,000.

  • Determine any other miscellaneous costs, such as license plates. In the example, assume $40 in miscellaneous expenses.

  • Add together each result to find school bus transportation charges. In the example, $3,500 plus $75, plus $34,000 plus $40 equals $37,615 of charges related to the bus.


  • Photo Credit school bus image by Lombok from
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