Free bus service for public school students
Parents across the Kingdom welcomed the government’s decision to provide free transportation to students enrolled in public schools.
Six local transportation companies will implement the government project in a four-year contract, which will take effect in next academic year, said an official at King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz for Public Education Development (KAPED).
“The six companies will transport elementary, intermediate and high school students in 11 regions and provinces across Saudi Arabia,” said Hani Al-Sayegh, head of marketing and public relations at Tatweer Company for Public School Transportation Services.
The companies will provide 11,000 modern buses as part of the expansion plan to provide free transport services to a larger number of public school students.
Al-Sayegh noted that the transport companies would undergo regular assessment by the management to ensure they comply with safety and other regulatory standards.
According to the official, the Ministry of Education through Tatweer will serve 360,000 students from next year, which represent 17 percent of the total number of students in the Kingdom’s public schools.
He said that public school students can register with the transport system online on the Ministry of Education’s website, adding that the service is expected to reach 1.7 million students by 1436-1437H.
Welcoming the government move, Sami Al-Harbi, a Saudi logistic support officer, told Arab News that he spends over two hours every day on the road transporting his children to and from the school.
He added that the government’s plan would save expenses for families and limit the number of traffic accidents.
Al-Harbi hastened to add that the bus drivers should be experienced and adhere to traffic safety regulations. He also said a conductor or an escort should accompany the students to ensure their safety.
Sharif Taha, a father of three children attending public schools in the capital, said: “The move will ease traffic congestion on the city roads and reduce oil consumption by citizens and expatriates.”
Taha explained that the move would also save time spent by parents on the road and reduce environmental pollution caused by vehicular traffic.
The expansion coverage includes Makkah, Qassim, and the Eastern Province, Al-Jouf, the northern borders, Hail, Tabuk, Asir, Al-Baha, Najran and Jazan.