How much does it cost (on average) to provide an MCPS bus for one field trip? What would the budget be to provide a field trip for every student?

Question#: 10


The average cost for providing one MCPS bus for a school-day field trip is approximately $300. The transportation cost for providing transportation for one school-day field trip for every student in MCPS is approximately $1.6 million or $10 per student. This is the transportation expense and does not include food, admission, or other costs associated with field trips.

The assumptions surrounding this estimate include:

  • 30 students per bus on average. This allows seating for school staff and parent chaperones. It also assumes some of the trips would be taken at the classroom level and other reasons that many of the buses would not be used to capacity.
  • Trips would have to be scheduled throughout almost the entire school year.  Assuming an even spread of trip buses over 150 school days, there would be 36 additional buses on field trips each day.
  • Most trips would fit within the regular field trip window of 9:40 a.m.–2:10 p.m., with approximately 10 percent exceeding that window to use up to 6.5 hours of the school day.