DUBAI // School transport providers will be asked to reverse fare increases if complaints prove justified, authorities have said.
Parents affected by rises they feel are unfair are urged to contact the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Department (CCCP) at the Department of Economic Development in Dubai.
"CCCP focuses on ensuring compliance with the UAE Federal Law 24 of 2006 on consumer protection," said Omar Bushahab, the department's chief executive.
"It evaluates consumer complaints with due regard to the rights of the consumer as well as the goods or services provider.
"If the fee increase is proved to be unjustified, then the transport provider may be asked to reverse it."
School Transport Services has informed parents of children at many of the 42 schools it covers that it will be charging an extra Dh20 or Dh25 each month.
This, according to Col M?L Augustine, the managing director of the company, is necessary to keep up with the escalating costs of meeting the regulations of the Roads and Transport Authority.
"This is the first increase in five years," he said. "When in 2009 RTA introduced new regulations, the seating capacity of buses came down drastically."
He said ensuring maximum safety by installing video surveillance, sleeping-child check buttons, GPS systems and hiring female attendants was costly.
"It is not only the one-time investment, but the recurring monthly cost is high as well,"he said.
Their bus fees range from Dh400 to Dh800 a month.
Parents can contact CCCP on 600 545 555 or log on to www.consumerrights.ae