Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), part of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has deployed 368 smart buses as the emirate prepares for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The service, which will cater to about 8,873 students in 17 schools in Dubai over the coming year, launched in the 2015-16 academic year with 188 buses serving eight schools. The next academic saw a jump to 270 buses serving 14 schools, with last year’s fleet standing at 368 buses which served 17 schools in the emirate in the 2017-18 academic year..

According to DTC, each bus is equipped with surveillance cameras connected to monitors at DTC’s Control Centre to monitor students while they are seated in, and alighting from, buses.

READ: Government mandates are driving fuel efficiency in the Gulf

The group said it has also launched a new smart app, DTC School Bus, enabling parents to track the movement of their children’s journey from and to the school. The technology also incorporates a GPS satellite system, which sends notifications to parents about the time their children board and alight from buses between a school and their home.

“New technologies added to the school bus fleet enhance the safety of students,” the RTA said, adding the engine switch off button is located at the rear of the bus.

READ: Dubai Taxi, RTA launch medical clinic for cab drivers

This means the driver is “obliged to walk through up to the end of the bus to stop the engine”, which ensures no student is left behind on the bus before the doors are locked.

Last March saw DTC ink a deal to rent out 119 smart school buses to Nasser Al Razooqi Trading Group – a move the firm said represented a “positive step towards supporting the public-private partnership model in the emirate”.