Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority has signed agreements with seven schools in the emirate to provide transport services, the agency said in a statement.
The deal will see RTA’s unit Dubai Taxi Corporation’s buses transport 2,500 students from these schools during the new academic year.
The seven schools that have signed the deal with the RTA are the German School, St Mary, Dar Al Marefa, Dubai Modern Education, Hartland International, Al Ittihad Al Mamzar and Al Ittihad Jumeirah Schools.
DTC’s CEO Ahmed Al Suwaidi said that all buses will be fitted with smart services including CCTV cameras and parents will be notified by a message upon the safe arrival of their children. The buses will also be fitted with GPS allowing parents to track the progress of the vehicles.
The government agency did not disclose the value of the deal or comment on whether the service provided to the schools will be cheaper than the current transport outsourcing services.
But the DTC added that the school transport service is receiving strong interest from schools.
“Following intensive media campaigns and field visits to schools in the emirate to enlighten them about our schools transport service, 35 schools expressed interest in signing up for RTA school transport service,” said Al Suwaidi.
DTC added that it is developing a comprehensive plan to widen the scheme to more schools in the future.
“Work is up-and-running in developing a comprehensive promotional plan for the school transport service, and increasing the number of schools using our service,” said DTC’s director of business development Abdullah Al Meer.
“The RTA is planning to maintain a 10 per cent annual growth of its market share up to 2024 through live demonstrations and site tours to private schools in the emirate. For this purpose, it will be coordinating with various internal bodies at the DTC and concerned parties in the RTA towards intensifying media campaigns about the school transport service using written and audio media as well as various social media channels.”
School transport services in the UAE are expensive mainly due to few players in the industry.
Earlier this year, the UAE’s biggest school bus provider School Transport Services hiked its fees after it upgraded to smart buses that consist of surveillance cameras and a tracking system.