School buses raise fares 100 percent

School Bus

Fares of buses transporting female students to schools and colleges in Jeddah were raised 100 percent last week, from about SR400 to SR800. Company owners attributed the increase to rising fuel prices.

However, citizens, like Faisal Ghazi, insist companies are using the rising fuel prices to dramatically increase fees after the start of the second semester, despite the proximity of schools to residential areas.

Ghazi called on authorities to monitor the prices of school transport companies in order to ensure that company owners do not take advantage of the situation.

“Some company owners are taking advantage of the higher oil prices to increase school bus fares by up to 100 percent, even though the increases in fuel prices do not exceed 30 percent,” says Garallah Al-Salmi. He urged the Ministry of Transport to penalize violating companies.

Raed Habeeb says he contacted company owners to learn about the reason behind higher fares, and was informed that the rising fuel prices and the distance of residential neighborhoods from the school or university have a direct bearing on the fare.

According to Adel Salama, the owner of a school transport company, the increase in fees is due to the increase in fuel prices and the distant residences of students from schools and universities, both of which require higher fares to cover expenses of buses and drivers.

Abdulmaqsood Gaber, who works in the same field, says the increase is not only limited to Jeddah, but also other areas in the western region.

A source at the General Department of Roads and Transportation in the Makkah region said that the increase in fares of buses transporting students teachers is illegal and that violating companies will be subject to harsh penalties if complaints from citizens are received.

He said the ministry has allocated the hotline number 938 for families to report any complaints, and that the ministry will respond within 24 hours. “There is a committee on school transport, headed by the ministry, that conducts field inspections of companies in order to identify any pricing violations,” he said.


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