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RTA bans minibuses for school children

Dhanusha Gokulan/Dubai
Filed on March 22, 2016 | Last updated on March 22, 2016 at 06.06 am
 RTA bans minibuses for school children

The RTA's public transport agency on Monday announced a new set of norms to improve the school transport sector.

 Schools will not be allowed to use minibuses to transport students, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai. Any bus less than 6.2 metres in length in school transport services will be banned. Schools have been given an 18-month grace period to phase out these kind of buses from the school transport fleet.

The RTA's public transport agency on Monday announced a new set of norms to improve the school transport sector.

Adel Shakri, director of planning and business development, RTA's public transport agency said: "Due to safety and security implications, and to increase the capacity of school buses, March 1 had been set as a deadline for abolishing the use of minibuses (less than 6.2 metres in length) in school transport services, following the granting of an 18 months grace period to schools for phasing out this sort of buses from school transport fleets."

He added that the implementation of the School Transport Law played a crucial role in maintaining the safety of different age groups of students using school buses.

Shakri noted that there has been a 10 per cent drop in the number of annual accidents in the education sector. "This drop is attributed to the productive cooperation between the RTA, school managements, school transport operators, and parents and is based on the compliance of school managements and school transport companies with the provisions and stipulations of the School Transport Law, as well as the recurrent campaigns launched by the RTA," said Shakri.

Also, starting from April 1, an electronic tracking system using GPS spatial technology will be operational in the RTA school buses.

School managements have also been allowed to modify the seating of large school buses (more than 50 seats) by fitting them with 2x3 seats. The bus will have two fire extinguishers, two attendants, and two first-aid kits.

"Among the key achievements made by the school transport sector in Dubai is zero fatalities in 2015. The implementation of the School Transport Law has brought about multiple dividends and triggered positive impacts bearing social, environmental, economic and educational dimensions," Shakri said in a statement.

The RTA has also deployed 50 buses customised to help disabled students enjoy a safe and smooth mobility, said Shakri.

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