As schools running on Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Board and government schools begin, there is bad news for the parents of those who send their children by school buses. There is a 20 percent hike in fees of school buses operated in these schools, as compared to the fees charged before Covid-19 pandemic. On June 13, the school bus owners made this announcement for the current academic year.
According to School Bus Owners Association (SBOA) president Anil Garg, this hike will be mainly for schools teaching SSC Board. “There are less than 100 school buses that ferry children to SSC schools. We had already hiked school bus fees for other Boards back in April. Cost of other commodities are also rising,” said Garg.
The chief reason behind this hike is owing to the significant hike in fuel prices, cost of tyres and other vehicle parts, payment of salaries of drivers and other staff, it also includes increased bus cost, RTO fees, traffic fines and penalties incurred in the last two years. The hike will depend on the area the school children are being ferried and the schools as well. Mumbai schools with SSC Boards opened on June 13 after summer vacation.
The last two years saw school children take online classes from home as the pandemic induced lock down had brought the world to a standstill. Though the business was closed for two years due to the pandemic, the salaries of drivers and other staff, like cleaners and female attendants continued. They also pointed out that the life of a school bus in Mumbai is about eight years, as compared to 15 years in other parts of the country.