Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is set to deploy 368 smart buses to lift about 8,873 students in 17 schools contracted for the new academic year 2018-2019. The school transport service launched in the academic year 2015-2016 with 117 buses to serve eight schools, and the number grew in the following academic year (2016-2017) to 270 buses serving 14 schools. In the last academic year (2017-2018), the fleet grew to 368 buses serving 17 schools.
The buses are smart, environment-friendly and fitted with safety and security features as well as well-trained drivers and supervisors. Each bus is equipped with surveillance cameras connected to monitors at the Control Center at RTA’s Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) to monitor students’ movement while sitting and alighting from buses.
A new smart app DTC School Bus has been launched to enable parents to track the movement of their children’s journey from and to the school, besides the GPS satellite system, which sends notifications to parents about the time their children board or alight from buses in their shuttle between schools and homes.
New technologies added to the school bus fleet enhance the safety of students. The engine switch off button is now located at the rear end of the bus behind the seats. So the driver is obliged to walk through up to the end of the bus to stop the engine, meanwhile ensuring that no student is left behind on the bus before the doors are locked. It is now possible for new schools to join the service via the DTC School Bus App, or direct contact with the DTC Customers Service Center.
RTA’s Public Transport Agency is also all set to run the annual inspection service targeting school buses and service operators to verify their compliance with rules, including the licensing of drivers and supervisors to practice the service. The most frequent offences reported in the past related to the technical specifications set by the RTA for the exterior and interior of school buses.