Dubai: Dubai’s transport body has ordered 125 new school buses to transport the growing number of children set to start school in September.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said the new buses will add to the existing fleet of buses, which are operated by the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).
The number of students lifted by DTC buses is expected to rise from 7,000 in the last academic year to 10,000 students in the new academic year.
“School transport is considered one of the key public transport sectors in the world,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA.
“Through widening its school transport activity, the RTA is seeking to provide safe and smooth mobility for all students of different ages.”
The RTA did not give details on the makes or models of the new buses.
Ninety-five of the new buses come with 22 seats, another 10 buses have 35 seats, and 20 buses have 58 seats.
The buses have high quality seats and quiet interiors.
All buses are environment-friendly and fitted with hi-tech monitoring and tracking systems.
Devices include surveillance cameras, a sensing system to ensure that the bus is clear of students, an emergency button, GPS and RFID systems, and an automated engine fire-suppression system.
There are currently 294,000 school students in Dubai. Many of them are ferried around by 5,922 buses.
The total number of school buses is anticipated to rise to as many as 7,600 by 2020 and double to 14,400 buses by 2030.
Meanwhile, the RTA, which has entered the school transport business through the DTC in 2015, is seeking to increase its school bus fleet to about 650 buses by 2024.
The RTA has set standards, stipulations and controls for entities and companies operating in the school transport sector.
These 2008 rules govern school transport in Dubai, along with its Executive Regulation and RTA’s Guide. The guide details specifications in terms of shape and safety and security standards of the buses, and operational regulations.