With the new academic year is around the corner, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has held a remote online workshop on precautionary measures against COVID-19 for school bus operators in Dubai. The event attended by 120 representatives from various schools’ bus operators focused on the precautionary measures that need to be taken to contain the spread of coronavirus among students returning back to school for the academic year 2020-21. More than 153k students from private schools and 21k students from public schools in Dubai use school buses, which reached 6,732 buses in the Emirate.
Some of the guidelines discussed include:
- Buses to operate at 50% maximum capacity.
- All students and staff to be temperature checked.
- Masks for students are mandated for the ages as specified by the KHDA and DHA protocols.
- Students from the same immediate family (siblings) may sit together.
- Bus seating arrangement should be clearly marked and easy for students to understand so that they are seated in the same seats daily.
- All passengers and drivers should perform hand hygiene before boarding the bus.
- School bus operators to ensure there is enhanced cleaning of seats and high-contact surfaces, such as windows and railings, before each new group of students enter.
- Bus pick-up and drop-off of students at the school should be staggered where possible, to avoid crowding at the school entrance.
- Female attendants supporting students on buses shall try their best to avoid touching students or their belongings.
- Where there are common card readers on the buses for staff or students, an alternative mechanism shall be devised in order to avoid a common touchpoint.
- Each bus to have sufficient fresh air circulation after every trip as and when possible.
- Bus operators shall ensure that up-to-date lists of bus riders and drivers are maintained to enable contact tracing if required.
- Parents shall be advised to self-report all positive cases and suspected cases at the earliest possible.
“In its regulatory role over the school transport sector activity in Dubai, RTA’s Public Transport Agency is committed to making every effort to safeguard the safety of students during their mobility to and from schools. The holding of this workshop echoes our leaders’ directives to implement comprehensive precautionary measures to cope with the outbreak of Covid-19 across all sectors, the school transport sector included,” said Adel Shakri, Director of Planning and Business Development, Public Transport Agency, RTA.