During the annual visits by various delegations from the corporation to the conference of the Organization of School Transport in the United States, I often wondered what it would be like to organize similar events in the Arab world, and in the United Arab Emirates, in particular.
If we contemplate the development and excellence of school transport services in the UAE, we realize that such success and achievement should be highlighted on the international stage.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia took the initiative by organizing the first World Conference of School Transport, which witnessed the participation of an array of experts and stakeholders in the school transport sector. Emirates Transport was privileged to participate in the event, and received widespread admiration and attention of many parties, particularly from our brothers in Saudi Arabia, who themselves are beginning to make big strides towards developing this sector in their country.
Only last week, from April 21 to 23 present, the UAE made its mark on the international school transport scene as Dubai hosted the of School Transport Conference & Exhibition, which was organized by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in collaboration with the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT).
There is no doubt the event formed the perfect opportunity to inform visitors and participants in the conference of the experience of school transport in the country, which has become a landmark and a unique model in the region.
School transport has turned into an industry, one with a certain ethos and culture and governed by certain legislation and laws of its own, no longer allowed for each company or the owner of a bus that will remain in this sector.
And for us to imagine how the evolution of school transport pay a lot of car manufacturers to customize the production lines for school buses only, if the production lines of these well-known in America since the beginning of the last century, they began long ago in developed countries in East Asia such as Japan and Korea.
It’s worth noting that the growing demand from Emirates Transport for manufactured school buses led the car maker Daewoo to allocate a special factory line for the production of school buses, which contributed to worldwide increase in sales for the company. This factor prompted the manager of the South Korean company to visit the UAE and honor Emirates Transport for its positive role in this matter.
Similarly, Hyundai also allocated a dedicated factory line for the production of school buses, which correspond to the technical specifications and standards required by Emirates Transport, and which are proving increasingly popular in Saudi Arabia recently.
In terms of legislation, we have to strengthen the culture of specialization in this area, not every driver is qualified to drive a school bus; it requires specialist training and certain conditions to be met, as there are clear requirements for the safety of students.
On this regard, I call upon everyone to cooperate further to establish the concept and culture of school transport within the community, particularly among parents, many of whom still prefer to use their own cars instead of the school bus, even though studies have shown that the use of the school bus is 9 times safer than using private cars.
The environmental aspect cannot be ignored in this regard as well as various studies have shown that using one school bus can have the equivalent result of taking 39 cars off the road.