Dubai: GEMS Asian schools have hiked transportation charges by up to 10 per cent for the next academic year starting April. School Transportation Services (STS) that operates bus services in 35 schools in the UAE said similar increases will be applied to all international schools in September. “The monthly bus fee was Dh330 for my child. Now I have to pay Dh360 as per the circular I received. It is a small increase, but in a year, the increase adds up to Dh270,” said a parent of Kindergarten Starters.
Col. M.L. Augustine, Managing Director of STS told XPRESS the increase was necessary to sustain business. “We do not want to burden parents. But we have incurred huge expenses in introducing new safety features like video surveillance systems, electronic attendance systems and GPS among others.”
Augustine added that costs have also gone up because of the reduction in the number of seats as per RTA (Roads and Transport Authority) specifications.
STS has a 1,200-strong fleet of school buses and has trained female conductors for 60 per cent of its buses to ensure safe transport of school children.