Dubai/Abu Dhabi: The new academic year starting next week will see tighter safety measures on school buses.
In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) introduced a few changes to school bus specifications earlier this year.
Starting from April 1, an electronic tracking system using GPS technology became mandatory on school buses operating in Dubai. Many buses were already equipped with real-time satellite tracking before it became mandatory.
Also, schools and bus operators were in April allowed to modify the seating of large school buses (more than 50 seats) by fitting them with “2+3 seats”, meaning two seats on one side of the central aisle and three on the other, in each row.
The modified seating of 2+3 will help school buses carry up to 60 students, unlike the current seating in some buses, which is 2+2 and can carry only up to 40 students.
The new arrangement is allowed if the bus has two fire extinguishers, two first-aid kits and two attendants. This has helped bus providers streamline operations, and also means there will be fewer buses on the roads. More info and photos