The Board of Executive Directors of Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), chaired by HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board, has endorsed the awarding of a contract for procuring 125 new school buses.
The new buses will add to the fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) to cope with the growing school transport activity. The number of students lifted by DTC buses is expected to rise from 7000 students in the last academic year to 10,000 students in the new academic year 2017/2018.
“Lifting millions of students every day, the school transport is considered one of the key public transport sectors in the world. Through widening its school transport activity, the RTA is seeking to provide safe & smooth mobility for all students of different ages. It aims to be a pioneer in offering excellent and safe school transport services, and encourage parents to have their children lifted to and from schools by school transport buses rather than private vehicles. Through this strategy, the RTA would be able to support the UAE Education Strategy 2020, improve the school transport service in Dubai, and strike a balance between supply and demand,” said Al Tayer.
“The new buses, which have been tailored to the highest international safety standards of school transport services, have a diverse cast of features. 95 buses of 22 seats, 20 buses of 58 seats, and 10 buses of 35 seats. The interior design of buses has superior finishing, noise-free environment and deluxe seats. All buses are environment-friendly and fitted with hi-tech monitoring & tracking systems for students and buses, providing a safe & secure environment. Devices include surveillance cameras, sensing system to ensure that the bus is clear of students, an emergency button for communicating with the Control Centre, GPS tracking system for buses and students, RFID system, and an automated engine fire-suppression system.
“Current indicators show that the number of students in the Emirate of Dubai cross 294 thousand, and the registered number of school buses in Dubai were 5,922 buses up to the last year. The number of school buses are anticipated to rise to as many as 7,600 buses by 2020 and double up to 14,400 buses by 2030. RTA, which has entered the school transport business through the DTC in the school year 2015-2016, is seeking to raise its school bus fleet to about 650 buses by 2024,” noted Al Tayer.
RTA has set standards, stipulations and controls for entities and companies operating in the school transport sector. These include Order No. (2) for 2008 governing school transport in the Emirate of Dubai, along with its Executive Regulation, and RTA’s Guide. The guide details specifications in terms of shape and safety & security standards of the bus in addition to respective responsibilities of school managements, firms, attendants, operators, drivers, students and parents.