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Riyadh skyline, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Cairo: Saudi Arabia Sunday started implementing an official decision specifying the working and rest hours for bus drivers in the kingdom as part of authorities’ efforts to boost road safety.

The decision, issued by the Saudi Transport General Authority, (TGA) sets the maximum driving hours per day at nine hours, which can be extended by one more hour twice a week.

The weekly working hours for such drivers are set at a maximum of 56 hours and the total of permitted working hours over 14 days must not exceed 90 hours.

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According to the TGA regulations, the rest time is set at 45 minutes per 4.5 driving hours, 11 hours per 23 hours of driving, while the weekly rest time is put at non-stop 45 hours for a maximum of six working days.

The authority has underlined importance of drivers and transport employees abiding by the working and rest rules with the aim of upgrading services delivered to the users, boosting road safety and providing a favourable working environment for drivers.

The driving and rest schedules are set for abidance regardless of the number of buses authorised for driving.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans and projects to bolster public transport across the kingdom.

In February, Saudi Arabia launched its first electric public transport bus in the port city of Jeddah as part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the kingdom.

The bus can travel up to 300 kilometres on a single charge, with high efficiency, consuming less than 10 per cent electricity compared to other buses.