Drive Against Unregistered Private Transport Intensified Filed on September 4, 2008

SHARJAH - The ban on private transport vehicles being used as school buses is meant to ensure safety of students, officials from Sharjah Public Transport Corporation (STPC) said on Tuesday.

“Someone has to accept responsibility for the safety of students — either the school or transport companies,” said an SPTC official on condition of anonymity.

Explaining why several school buses were being stopped from transporting students since the start of the academic year on August 31, the official said that transportation companies from outside the emirate need to register with SPTC in order to transport passengers.

“Schools hire buses and drivers. But, if something happens to the students the schools blame the transportation companies, which, in turn, blame the schools,” he says.

He, however, said that SPTC has decided to give more time to private transport companies to get their act together. Since the start of the new academic school year on August 31, scores of students from Sharjah have not been able to attend classes because private transport companies stopped providing pick-and-drop services after being fined heavily by SPTC inspectors.

Besides students, several people working in Dubai, too, were unable to report to work since their companies were using outsourced transportation services.

“The rule has been in force for two years. But this year, we intensified the crackdown and several companies were fined,” said an SPTC official on condition of anonymity.

However, due to Ramadan and the chaos due to the reopening of schools, we have relaxed the rules so that the transport companies have more time to register with us, he explained.

Some schools have issued guarantee letters, but the fear of fines of up to Dh5,000 have prompted companies to stop services.


Asma Ali Zain

Associated with KT for 15 years. Covers health issues, Pakistan community, human interest stories as well as general topics for daily news or features.

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