RTA beefs up school bus fleet with security and Covid-19 measures

Decision intended to encourage more pupils to use the service

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Dubai transport chiefs have improved the emirate’s 440-strong school bus fleet in readiness for the new school term.

Strict rules to safeguard against Covid-19, such as sanitisation and 50 per cent capacity, are in place.

Dubai Taxi Corporation and the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority said they hope the measures will encourage more children to take the bus to class rather than use private vehicles, which contribute towards traffic congestion.

Schools across the country will return formally on August 29.

“The Dubai Taxi Corporation has taken extensive precautionary measures to ensure the safety of students,” said Mansour Al Falasi, its chief executive.

“Devices include cameras, sensors to ensure no student is left behind in the bus, an emergency button to communicate with the control centre, a GPS-based electronic tracking system, radio-frequency identification system and an engine self-extinguishing system.”

Drivers have also been trained in first aid, state news agency Wam reported.

In total, 7,300 pupils are registered for school transport and 22 schools in Dubai use such services.

Children aged 16 and above in the UAE must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to return to school, the Ministry of Education said on Monday.

Pupils in Dubai, which has its own crisis authority and whose private schools are regulated by a separate education body, are not affected by the decision.

Updated: August 03, 2021, 6:54 AM