The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has raised the curtain on the design & technical specifications of its eco-friendly school buses; which are set for operation by the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) to offer transit services to students starting from the forthcoming academic year 2015-2016.
The DTC will launch the service with the debut of 50 buses and the number of the fleet is envisaged to grow to as much as 650 buses by 2024.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, accompanied by a host of Executive Directors and Directors, inspected the bus to review its technical & technological specifications.
Al Tayer was briefed by Ahmed Khalfan Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of the DTC, about the technological features of the bus. The bus is fitted with a hydraulic suspension system enabling smooth entry & exit from the bus, a remote control & tracking system through the Operations Control Centre, and a navigation system compatible with the geographical addressing system of the Dubai Municipality branded Makani.
All buses will use environment-friendly technologies, thanks to their engines compatible with Euro 4 & 5 specifications, and the clean diesel; which has low emissions rate, and low sulphur content (50 ppm). The bus interior has deluxe finishing, noise-free environment, ample room and luxurious seats offering added comfort to students.
Explaining the features of the bus, Al Suwaidi said, "The bus is fitted with cutting-edge technologies such as surveillance cameras to ensure the security & safety of students in transit, text messages services to inform parents of the safe arrival of their wards, a tracking system using the GIS technology, and an optional Wi-Fi service for interested academic institutions.
Al Tayer was impressed by the interior and exterior designs of the school buses; matching to the highest quality safety standards in use by school transport services worldwide. "The DTC has to comply with the standards, stipulations and controls applied by the Public Transport Agency to all entities engaged in the school transport business. These include Order No. (2) for 2008 governing school transport in the Emirate of Dubai, along with its Executive Regulation, and RTA's Guide issued in this regard. The Guide details specifications in terms of shape and safety & security standards of the bus in addition to respective responsibilities of school managements, firms, attendants, operators, drivers, students and parents.
"The school transport is one of the key public transport sectors in the world lifting millions of students every day. Engaging the RTA in this activity aims at providing safe & smooth transport for all students of different ages, and playing a leading role in delivering brilliant, safe & high quality services to students in such a way that encourages parents to allow their children transported by public transit means instead of private vehicles. It will also support the UAE Education Strategy 2020, raise the bar for school transport, and strike a balance between supply & demand," he continued.
"Information in hand indicate that the total number of students in the Emirate of Dubai is in the tune of 253 thousand students of whom 151 thousand students (60%) use school buses, and the RTA is seeking to raise this proportion to 70%," noted Al Tayer.