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Covid-19: School buses in Dubai to operate at 50% capacity

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 14, 2021
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Moreover, bus assistants will regularly check students’ temperature before boarding the bus.

An announcement was made on Thursday that school buses, which are operated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), would be run at 50 per cent capacity.

In a bid to protect pupils against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), which is run by the RTA, has introduced a series of precautionary measures.

“We have taken several preventive measures for the safety of pupils, including maintaining regular bus disinfection programmes. We are also limiting the capacity to only 50 per cent of the total number of pupils on board,” said Marwan Al Zarooni, the Director of operation and commercial affairs, DTC.

350 drivers, 117 trained assistants

“Moreover, bus assistants will regularly check students’ temperature before boarding the bus,” he added.

About 3,000 students are registered in the school transport service, which has a fleet of 175 buses.

“Data shows that 22 schools use DTC’s transport service. Altogether, 350 drivers are employed to drive these smart buses. Another 117 trained assistants deal with pupils of various age groups,” said Al Zarooni.

They are trained on the handling of emergencies and certified in the delivery of First Aid assistance by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services. “They are also trained on other fields to ensure the delivery of exceptional services to students,” he added.

Hi-tech buses to safeguard kids

The buses are fitted with smart technologies, including surveillance cameras and sensors, an emergency button for communicating with the control centre, and Geographic Information System (GIS)-powered tracking system of both pupils and buses along wth Vehicle Identification Pass (ViP) through Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. “Buses are also fitted with an engine self-extinguishing system,” Al Zarooni said.

Tracking system to monitor movement of buses

“To request the service or obtain updates, parents can log on https://schoolbus.dubaitaxi.ae/parentportal, which will also assist them with the online payment. Through this portal, parents can track the movement of the bus and students, and figure out the pick-up and drop-off points,” he added.

The service supports DTC school bus mobile application (app) available at Google Play and iOS Stores, enabling the tracking of the movement of students by using smartphones.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88





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