School Bus Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The School Bus Market is segmented by Power-train Type (IC Engine, Electric, and Hybrid), Capacity Design (Type A, Type B, Type C, and Type D), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World).

Market Snapshot

School Bus Market Overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >6.59 %

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Market Overview

The school bus market was valued at USD 3.71 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 5.44 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of around 6.59% during the forecast period.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global bus market is expected to witness nominal growth due to continuous lockdown and travel restrictions across the world. Many schools were still closed in some parts of the region to maintain the safety of children, as there is a high risk of contact of the virus to children. However, due to the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and educational expert’s assertion of missing practical knowledge for children, schools were permitted to reopen for higher class students first maintaining social distance norms and guidelines.

The advantage of school buses over the other modes of transport for students is also one reason for augmenting the market's growth during the forecast period. School buses are generally built with high safety standards, protective seating, rollover protection, etc. The increasing global population, especially in countries such as China and India, has led to a rise in the number of children enrolling in schools. This resulted in the increased demand for a large number of schools and adequate infrastructure for the education industry, which includes transportation and other amenities.

The increasing adoption of electric vehicles in the commercial vehicle segment has influenced the school bus segment, which is expected to drive the North American school bus market during the forecast period. China is another major market as the country is witnessing a transition towards electric buses, which could influence the school bus fleet as well. The Middle East is expected to be one of the new emerging markets, as various companies have been importing high volumes of school buses, mainly from Asian countries.

Scope of the Report

In general school bus is a type of bus owned, leased, contracted to, or operated by a school or school district and regularly used to transport students to and from school or school-related activities, but not including a charter bus or transit bus.

The scope of the report covers the latest trends and technologies followed by COVID-19 impact on the market. The school bus report covers segmentation based on power-train type, capacity design type, and geography. By power-train type, the market is segmented into IC engine and electric and hybrid. By capacity design type, the market is segmented into Type A, Type B, Type C, and Type D, and by geography, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. For each segment, market sizing and forecast have been done on the basis of value (USD billion).

By Power-train Type
By Capacity Design Type
Type A
Type B
Type C
Type D
By Geography
North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of the World
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Growing Interest Toward Electric Vehicles

Reducing the emissions has increased the demand for alternative fuel-powered vehicles for public transport and increased the adoption of electric vehicles in the commercial segment to influence the school bus market during the forecast period.

More than 95% of the school buses worldwide run on fossil fuels, especially diesel. Numerous studies worldwide have shown that inhaling diesel exhaust causes respiratory diseases, which are seen widely in children who are the main commuters. Replacing all the school buses of only America itself with electric buses could avoid an average of 5.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Electric buses give out zero emissions, and their annual operating cost is almost half of a diesel bus. In Shenzhen, China, it is expected that the incentives for electric transit buses would also be extended towards school buses, thus increasing their adoption. Few states in the United States, such as California, New York, etc., and Quebec in Canada, are also testing and adopting electric buses, which is expected to drive the market. The district of California has been at the forefront in the adoption of electric school buses. For instance,

  • Recently, California is planning to replace 200 polluting school buses with electric ones and is in plans to offer funding of nearly US$ 70 million for the same.
  • In 2019, two Michigan school districts, Ann Arbor and Roseville public schools, ordered six Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric school buses.
School Bus Market Latest Trends

North America to Lead the Market

The North American school bus market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 4% during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). In the major North American countries, school transport is very organized and has been in existence for many decades. Hence, the demand has been stable for the past few years and is expected to be similar over the forecast period.

The market for school buses in North America is a consolidated one. The region is characterized by the presence of major school bus manufacturers who also cater to other countries. Blue Bird Corporation, IC Bus, and Thomas Built Buses Inc. are the three main players who are expected to occupy a major share of the market. Other major companies are Collins Bus Corporation, Micro Bird, and Lion Electric company. Moreover, companies are introducing new features in their products to increase their market share.

Canadian school buses are more or less similar to their US counterparts both in terms of design and usage by school systems. Buses are sometimes marketed to customers in Canada differently than in the United States. For instance, the Blue Bird All American was rebadged as the Blue Bird TX3 in Canada. Micro Bird and Lion Electric Company are the major school bus manufacturers from Canada.

In Mexico, along with the yellow school buses, various other types of buses are used for student transport. Depending on capacity needs, vans and minibusses are also used. Mexico mainly imports used and old school buses from the United States, but some newer ones are also imported and used school services. The school bus market is still in the nascent stage in Mexico, with very few manufacturers having a production plant in the country.

School Bus Market Growth Rate By Region

Competitive Landscape

The school bus market is neither a fragmented nor consolidated one. The market is characterized by the presence of major school bus manufacturers who also cater to other countries. The market is mainly dominated by players based in the United States, China, and India. IC engines are expected to have a larger share, whereas electric buses are expected to be the fastest-growing segment. For instance,

  • The Virginia Department of General Services contracted Proterra Inc. for supplying electric buses and installing charging stations in the state. This move allows the state institutions, transit agencies, and universities to buy Proterra’s electric buses and charging stations via the existing contract between the state and the company.
  • Thomas Built Buses received full California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) certificates for its Type C electric bus, the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley, which is powered by Proterra electric vehicle technology.
  • Recently, in 2019, California was planning to replace 200 polluting school buses with electric ones, and it was in plans to offer funding of nearly USD 70 million for the same.

Recent Developments

  • In February 2020, Thomas Built Buses showcased the auto-reversing door feature for the company’s school bus portfolio first-of-its-kind feature available on all versions of SafT-Liner C2 school bus to enhance its safety features. Moreover, the company is developing a prototype of new pedestrian detection technology in partnership with MITO Corporation and CUB Group to prevent pedestrian accidents outside of the school bus.
  • Recently, Daimler invested USD 155 million in electric bus maker Proterra, with the aim of accelerating the development of commercial electric vehicles. The first product of this association between the two companies is an electric school bus from Daimler's Thomas Built Bus division.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Power-train Type

      1. 5.1.1 Electric

      2. 5.1.2 Hybrid

    2. 5.2 By Capacity Design Type

      1. 5.2.1 Type A

      2. 5.2.2 Type B

      3. 5.2.3 Type C

      4. 5.2.4 Type D

    3. 5.3 By Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

        4. Rest of North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Russia

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. India

        3. Japan

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Rest of the World

        1. South America

        2. Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles*

      1. 6.2.1 Thomas Built Buses Inc.

      2. 6.2.2 Collins Bus Corporation

      3. 6.2.3 IC Bus (Navistar International Corporation)

      4. 6.2.4 Blue Bird Corporation

      5. 6.2.5 Lion Electric Company

      6. 6.2.6 Yutong Buses Co. Ltd

      7. 6.2.7 Anhui Ankai Automobile

      8. 6.2.8 JCBL Limited

      9. 6.2.9 Tata Motors


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The School Bus Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The School Bus Market is growing at a CAGR of >6.59% over the next 5 years.

The School Bus Market is valued at 3 Billion USD in 2018.

The School Bus Market is valued at 5 Billion USD in 2026.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2020.

Blue Bird Corporation, Tata Motors, Yutong Bus Co., Ltd., Thomas Built Buses Inc., IC Bus (Navistar International Corporation) are the major companies operating in School Bus Market.

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