The Public Transport Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that the School Transport in Dubai has seen a remarkable growth during the period 2011-2014 in terms of the number of students lifted, buses deployed and bus conductors appointed.
“The number of students lifted by school transport services has increased by 14% between 2011 and 2014,” said Adel Mohammed Shakri, Director of Planning & Business Development at RTA Public Transport Agency.
Shakri attributed this substantial growth to the implementation of the School Transport Law issued by Dubai Executive Council. The Law, he noted, had been initiated by the RTA which caters to overseeing its implementation at the highest international standards of the industry.
In this regard, the RTA had entered in partnership agreements with several reputed & specialized international entities such as the American NAPT with which the RTA had teamed in holding an international congress about school transport in Dubai in 2013.
“The implementation of the School Transport Law has played a pivotal role in securing the safety of students of different ages served by school transport services. The sound implementation of the Law contributed to cutting the number of accidents recorded in this sector by 10%, thanks to the fruitful cooperation between the RTA, school managements, school transport companies and parents.
This cooperation is reflected in the compliance of school managements and school transport companies with the provisions and stipulations of the School Transport Law and their positive response to the awareness campaigns launched by the RTA from time to time,” added Shakri.
“At the top of achievements made by the school transport sector in Dubai is that the number of fatalities dropped to zero in 2014; which is good news indicative of the growing awareness of all stakeholders in school transport sector in Dubai i.e. the RTA, Emirates Transport, school managements, school transport companies, parents and students” he explained.
The implementation of the School Transport Law has brought about a whole host of benefits and positive impacts that have several social, environment, economic and educational implications. The social dimension resulted in stimulating various community segments to embrace the culture of using mass transport, higher confidence in the school transport system, and more attention to the disabled as reflected in designing and deploying 50 buses to assist the safe & smooth mobility of this community segment. The social impact has also resulted in the soaring numbers of school bus drivers by 36% (between 2011 and 2014), and the number of school bus female conductors by 99% during the same period.
The economic aspect is reflected in the time saved by parents in lifting their wards to and from schools which is estimated in the order of 24,689 hours, saving in fuel consumed by vehicles equivalent to 20,095 hours of travel, and lending support to the school transport industry nation-wide.
The Law has also had an environmental dimension in reducing the carbon footprint resulting from vehicles by as much as 22,000 kg in four years.
The educational aspect of the law is seen in raising the public awareness by running awareness campaigns involving more than 850 field visits to public and private schools.
The RTA is mulling the introduction of new technologies in the field of school transport such as placing sensors underneath bus seats to send cautionary signals in case a child is left behind on board. Such a measure would assist in boosting the protection of children and ensuring their security and safety in transit. Additionally, an online educative module is being developed and safety tips will be diffused by means of cartoons simulating issues related to child safety. More info