x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

School bus fleet increases by 330

The public school bus fleet in the country has increased by nearly 10 per cent.

An extra 330 buses are available this year to transport pupils to the country's public schools.

The increase, which brings the total number of public-school buses to 3,340, will help to transport about 205,000 children every day to their place of learning.

Of the 330 new buses, 176 are in use and 154 on standby. There are also 2,397 bus supervisors - 1,303 in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia and the remainder in the Northern Emirates.

The supervisors were all trained before the start of the school year, said Jassim Al Marzouqi, the executive director of the school transport centre at Emirates Transport, which provides the buses.

"This included training on road safety, first aid and bus evacuation in the event of an emergency."

The transport company is also inspecting all seven dispatch stations to ensure the buses meet safety standards.

Mohammed Abdulla Al Jarman, the director general of Emirates Transport, is conducting the inspections and has made a visit to the first station in Al Quoz, Dubai.

"All buses have received internal and external maintenance," he said.

The buses cannot exceed 80kph and meet other international safety specifications. They each feature a red stop sign that is raised on the driver's side when children are getting on or off.

Nearly three-quarters of pupils at Abu Dhabi public schools use the bus.

Increasing the number of school buses decreases traffic congestion, officials say. Emirates Transport suggested this year that a single school bus could replace 36 private vehicles on the roads.

mismail@thenational.ae