Pupil Transportation

Cost Per Mile Calculation for School Districts

Typically, the cost per mile (cpm) calculation is done during the month of March for implementation at the start of the school district’s fiscal year which begins on July 1.  School districts should use the following six sub-cost categories to calculate the cost per mile:

  1. Vehicle Depreciation
  2. Insurance
  3. Fuel
  4. Maintenance & Repairs
  5. Administrative Costs
  6. Training Cost

These six sub-cost categories should also be used when figuring the expenses for Foster Care Transportation each school year.

The following is an explanation and example of the six sub-cost categories for the cpm.

  1. Vehicle Depreciation

    A.  Vehicle depreciation is calculated by taking the average bus cost and dividing that over the life expectancy of the bus

    i.  This sub-cost depends on the number of buses and the number of years the bus is in service. Some districts keep large buses for 10 or 12 years and small buses for 7 or 8 years. Some districts decide to lump all their buses together, both large and small, while others break out cost per mile by the size of the bus.

    ii.  The average bus cost is derived from an insurance spreadsheet which shows the cost per bus (new). Add up the new cost value of each of your buses and divide the total by the number of all buses. If the district is separating their fleet by bus size, they would tally the new cost of all the same size buses and divide the total by the number of that size buses in the fleet.

    iii.  To calculate the depreciation cost per year: take the average bus cost [see (ii)] and divide it by the number of years the bus will be in service.  Avg. Bus Cost/12 yr. depreciation = $

    a.  Example: avg. bus cost $100,000/12 years = $8333.33 per year.

    iv.  The district should then take the annual mileage from the preceding school year and divide that by the number of school buses in the fleet, when your district is grouping the buses all together. If your district is separating buses out, you will need to calculate the number of miles for big buses and number of miles for small buses per year and divide the totals miles for each size by the amount of the same size buses.

    v.  Annual Mileage divided by the number of buses equals the miles per bus.

    a.  Example:  2,139,498 miles/201 buses = 10,644 miles per bus per year.

    vi.  To calculate the cost per mile, take the average depreciation per year divided by the average miles per bus per year.

    a.  Example:  $8,333.33/10,644 average miles= $0.78 per mile

2.  Insurance

    A.  To calculate the total insurance cost per mile, use your total insurance cost divided by the number of school buses divided by the average annual miles per bus.

    i.  Example:

    1.  $258,939 insurance cost current year/201 buses = $1,288.25 per bus

    2.  1,288.25/10,644 average miles per bus = $0.12 per mile

3.  Fuel

    A.  To calculate the total fuel cost per mile, use the total cost of fuel from the prior year and divide it by the total fleet miles

    i.  Example:

    1.  $956,109 fuel cost per year/2,139,498 total miles=$0.44 per mile

4.  Maintenance & Repairs

    A.  To calculate the total maintenance and repairs cost per mile, your district will need to add up the annual cost of mechanic salaries, fringe, parts, supplies, out of shop repairs and garage repairs. Total maintenance Cost per year will be divided by the total yearly mileage. 

    i.  Example:

    1.  $1,659,993 maintenance and repairs cost /2,198,498 annual mileage =$0.76 per mile

5.  Administrative Costs

    A.  This cost calculation consists of each administrative employee’s salary plus fringe benefits. Add all the employees identified as part of your administration team and divide the total by the yearly fleet miles.

    i.  Example:

    i.  Secretary 1= $38,756 + fringe=$50,383

    ii.  Dispatch 2= 51,300 + fringe=$66,690

    iii.  Assistant Director 3= $62,275 + fringe $80,984

    iv.  Director= $90,000 + fringe= $119700

    v.  Field Trip Coord. 4= $36,688x130%= $47,694

       1.  Example:

    a.  Total cost= $355,451/2,198,498 miles= $0.17 per mile

6.  Training Cost

    A.  This cost consists of the following divide by yearly fleet miles:

    1. Driver Trainer pay (salary plus fringe)
    2. Drug & Alcohol Testing cost
    3. Physicals cost
    4. License reimbursement
    5. Bidding cost
    6. Safety meeting costs

    a.  Example:

    (1)  Driver Trainer pay $67,935

    (2)  Drug & Alcohol Testing & (3) Physicals cost $17,931

    (4)  License reimbursement $1,781

    (5)  Bidding cost & (6) Safety meeting costs $100,000

    Total cost=187,647/2,198,498= $0.09 per mile

Add all the sub cost per mile:

  1. Depreciation                       $0.78 per mile
  2. Insurance                           $0.12 per mile
  3. Fuel                                    $0.44 per mile
  4. Maintenance & Repairs       $0.76 per mile
  5. Administrative Costs           $0.17 per mile
  6. Training Cost                       $0.09 per mile

           TOTAL COST PER MILE     $2.36 per mile  


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Last Updated: July 17, 2020